BMW to outsource China mini vehicle making to Great Wall

BMW is looking to expand its presence in China to build EVs potentially with Great Wall Motors

BMW is reportedly in talks with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors to outsource Chinese production of the iconic Mini.

Great Wall is one of few Chinese carmakers without an worldwide carmaking partner.

"A deal with Great Wall wouldn't make sense, at least today, because the two companies have no market overlap and wouldn't achieve greater scale together", the publication quoted 65-year-old Italian-Canadian business magnate as saying.

Great Wall's shares had surged 14 percent on Wednesday and were later suspended after Reuters reported that it was discussing a joint venture with the German premium manufacturer, focused on electric vehicles.

If the JV project moves ahead, it will be BMW's second partnership operation in China.

BMW's China sales grew 11.3 percent previous year.

The sales are a sign that the company's recently announced plans to electrify more of its fleet may pay off. "But producing electric cars will help BMW to meet its quota now that China demands every carmaker in the country. produce a certain number of such cars starting from 2019". But China's state planner has said that in principal it will not approve any new foreign joint ventures involving traditional gas-powered cars because the market is already oversupplied.

Great Wall, which in August expressed an interest in the Jeep brand of Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's, is one of China's largest auto makers.

"I don't know how far along we have gone nailing this deal", or whether the two companies have official central government approval for the venture, the BMW executive said.

Patrick Yuan, an analyst at Jefferies Hong Kong, said it is understandable that BMW needs a new partner to defend its market share in a more competitive market.

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