Mini and Great Wall Motors Join Hands to Develop EVs in China
Both companies will make EVs under the banner of Spotlight Automotive Limited.
Mini and Great Wall Motors has announced to create a joint venture that will develop Mini electric vehicles along with some models of the Great Wall in China. The decision is a part of the deal they made last year.
Mini and Great Wall Motors will make the new smart electric vehicles under the banner of Spotlight Automotive Limited at a plant in Zhangjiagang, China. The construction of the plant will finish by 2022 with the capability to create 160,000 cars in a year.
“With the BMW Group as a pioneer in the field of electromobility and Great Wall as a major player and expert in industrialization in the Chinese market, we are joining forces for development and production of the future electric Mini and new Great Wall models,” said Klaus Froehlich, BMW’s R&D chief.
As this is a 50:50 joint venture, both the companies will finance 650 million euros each (around $715 million) in Spotlight.
The new plant in China will not work as a substitute manufacturing plant for BMW’s Oxford facility. The latter will still be producing different Mini models for the global markets. The upcoming electric Cooper SE will also be produced in the Oxford plant.
The German automaker badly needs a plant in China to make reasonable profits from electric Mini-cars. BMW’s head of finances, Nicolas Peter said, “This joint venture will enable us to produce a larger number of Mini-brand fully electric vehicles at attractive conditions for the world market.”
This is exactly the reason why Daimler collaborated with Geely to produce EVs in China.