BMW Group is teaming up with Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall for a new factory, plus the ongoing development of electric cars. The plant in China will produce future fully-electric models from Mini.
“Today we are taking the next step in our collaboration,” said Klaus Fröhlich, head of development at BMW.
“With the BMW Group as a pioneer in the field of electromobility and Great Wall as a major player and expert in industrialisation in the Chinese market, we are joining forces for development and production of the future electric Mini and new Great Wall models.”
Spotlight Automotive Limited
The joint venture is called Spotlight Automotive Limited. The plant will be able to produce 160,000 cars a year, employ around 3,000 people and mean a joint investment of £550 million.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Mini’s Oxford home is being retired. In BMW’s words, ‘Mini Plant Oxford will remain the heart and home of Mini manufacturing, while the Spotlight Automotive joint venture will provide additional capacity and flexibility’.
“This joint venture will enable us to produce a larger number of Mini-brand fully electric vehicles at attractive conditions for the world market,” Dr. Nicolas Peter, head of finance at BMW.
“This is also an important strategic step for the Mini brand. The joint venture with Great Wall underlines the enormous importance of the Chinese market for us.”
One million BMW EVs on the road by 2021
BMW Group will have five electric cars in its portfolio by the end of 2021, by which time it hopes to have sold one million EVs and hybrids.
Joining the new Mini Electric are the existing BMW i3, plus the iX3, iNext and i4.