BMW is planning the production of an electrically powered Mini in China5. April 2018
BMW and Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors have signed a letter of intent to co-develop and produce a fully electric-driven Mini. In the event of a successful contract, this would be Great Wall’s first foreign partner and the first assembly plant outside of Europe for the Mini compact car.
In the following negotiations the choice of a production site as well as specific investment sums will be clarified. Great Wall announced in a press release that the cooperation could improve its technological know-how and give the name a better image. It also promises to increase customer acceptance and to open up the market for electric vehicles at home and abroad.
The first electric vehicle of the Mini brand is based on a study that was presented last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It will be based on a completely new platform to be developed with Great Wall and not on the Mini E, which will be produced at the BMW’s Oxford plant starting in 2019. Through the joint development they would be able to focus on the needs and characteristics of the Chinese market. Local suppliers and battery manufacturers also play a role. The Chinese-built Mini could go into serial production in 2021 or 2022.
Automakers and suppliers are struggling to meet strict quotas in China for environment-friendly vehicles. By 2025, 20 percent of all sold cars will have to be powered by electric or hybrid motors. In addition, there are already restrictions in many cities for vehicles with internal combustion engines or incentives for alternative drives.
BWM also intends to expand its existing collaboration and manufacturing with Brilliance China Auto. At the same time, however, they declared that they would not set up another sales organization in China. This could mean that the new Mini will be marketed by Great Wall Motors or under a completely new brand.
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