BMW to outsource China mini vehicle making to Great Wall

Adjust Comment Print

The talks are in a preliminary stage, Great Wall said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange Friday.

The second joint venture for the German carmaker after its tie-up with Brilliance Automotive, BMW is expected to join hands with Chinese brand Great Wall.

Two unnamed sources "familiar with the matter" told Reuters that BMW is "in discussions" with Great Wall regarding the production of vehicles in the Chinese province of Changshu. Additionally, rumours regarding Great Wall's interest in the Jeep brand have been circulating of late - though parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has already played down that idea.

BMW is China's second-largest premium brand, behind Audi.

Analysts from U.S. finance firm Bernstein believe the venture between BMW and Great Wall would have to exclusively sell EVs due to China's crackdown on emissions and new combustion vehicle businesses. As a result, names like Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co. and Renault-Nissan have all announced electric auto joint ventures in China this year.

Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, which makes cars in a venture with BMW, rebounded 4.9% at 10.01am in Hong Kong after falling 2.1% on Wednesday. For Great Wall, the deal is an endorsement of its capabilities in the world's biggest market.

The plans were first reported by Shanghai-based earlier on Wednesday.

A Great Wall official declined to comment.

The firm's shares soared as much as 19.2 percent to their highest level in over two years, before paring some gains to stand up 14 percent in afternoon trade. The company suspended trading in the shares on October 12 and September 29 respectively.

The aim of the new partnership is so that BMW can increase production volumes and its market share in the EV segment.