BMW and Great Wall have signed an agreement to produce future electric Mini models in China through a new joint venture.
The two partners will have an equal stake at the new company, called ‘Spotlight Automotive’, which will develop and produce full-electric models at a new plant in Jiangsu Province. Spotlight Automotive will produce electric Minis, as well as electric vehicles for Great Wall.
“Today’s signing represents a new level of cooperation between China and Germany,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of BMW. “This strategic partnership is a clear win-win for the BMW Group and Great Wall Motor, enabling us to contribute to China’s ambitious plans to ramp-up new energy vehicles and reduce emissions in the mobility sector.”
“Great Wall Motor and the BMW Group share a commitment to promote new energy vehicles,” said Great Wall Motor Chairman Wei Jianjun. “With the combined strength of both partners, our new joint venture will accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles.”
BMW will also expand its production output at its separate joint venture with Brilliance in a bid to reduce the impact from the higher Chinese import tariffs on its US-made models. In 2017, BMW sold 560,000 cars in China, which is more than the next two largest markets, the US and Germany, combined.
China is also Mini’s fourth-largest market, with the brand delivering 35,000 units last year. The new joint venture is expected to further boost Mini’s presence in the world’s largest market.