Germany's BMW Group and China's Great Wall Motor today signed an agreement to produce Mini electric vehicles through a new 50:50 joint venture based in China.
During an event for autonomous and connected driving attended by China’s Premier Li Keqiang and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, the BMW Group and Great Wall Motor committed to found a new joint venture, 'Spotlight Automotive Limited', for the development and production of electric vehicles in China. As well as Mini EVs, the JV will also produce EVs for Great Wall Motor. The joint venture will be located in Jiangsu Province, where both partners will together create a new state-of-the-art production facility.
The production of future battery-electric Mini vehicles in China, the world’s largest market for electromobility, is a key element of Mini’s continued strategic development within the BMW Group’s Strategy Number One > Next.
Today’s move follows the letter of intent signed with Great Wall Motor on 23 February 2018. It is another significant step towards the electrified future of the Mini brand, coming in addition to start-of-production next year of the first battery electric Mini at the brand’s main plant in Oxford.
“Today’s signing represents a new level of cooperation between China and Germany,” said Harald Krüger, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, during the signing ceremony. “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,” elaborated Krüger.
The joint venture agreement was signed by Wei Jianjun, Founder and Chairman of Great Wall Motor, and Klaus Fröhlich, Member of Board of Management BMW AG for Development. “The strengths and expertise of both companies complement each other well,” said Fröhlich. “Our experience as a pioneer and leader in the field of electrification, coupled with Great Wall Motor’s proven track-record in efficient industrialisation, enables us together to drive the growth of the largest e-mobility market in the world,” Fröhlich continued. “With our joint approach, we can quickly scale up production and increase efficiency in the highly competitive segment of compact electric vehicles.”
“Today’s signing opens a new chapter in Sino-German cooperation,” stated Wei Jianjun. “Great Wall Motor and the BMW Group share a commitment to promote new energy vehicles. With the combined strength of both partners, our new joint venture will accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles,” Wei added.