BMW to build electric-powered Mini cars in China

BMW has partnered with Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motor to build electric-powered Mini cars in China.

The deal will not affect plans to assemble the first electric Minis in Oxford from 2019 – the vehicles built in Oxford will use German electric motors.

Cars produced in China under the deal between BMW and Great Wall Motor will be strictly for the Chinese market.

Front view of the Mini electric car concept.

China is the world’s largest market for electromobility. The country is aiming for 20% of all vehicles sold to either be fully electric or rechargeable-hybrid by 2025.

BMW believes that in order to take full advantage of different international markets there needs to be local production bases.

BMW said in a press release that the next steps will be “to agree on the details of a possible joint venture and cooperation agreement and clarify aspects such as the choice of production location and concrete investments.”

“The BMW Group has no plans to set up an additional sales organisation in China. The company is firmly committed to continuing the successful cooperation with the established sales structure,” the company added.

BMW Group als announced that it will further expand its joint venture in China with Brilliance. In addition to its two automobile production locations, the BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) already runs an engine plant, which includes a battery factory for electrified BMW brand vehicles produced locally in Shenyang.

“This is the first battery factory operated by a premium automobile manufacturer in China,” BMW said.