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BMW, Great Wall Motor Eye Possible Electric Vehicle Joint Venture In China

13 October 2017

Great Wall did not specify if the new venture would make traditional gasoline-powered Mini models or electric ones, though it did say that some output could eventually be exported.

German luxury marque BMW is looking into a business venture with Chinese manufacturer Great Wall to produce electric vehicles, according to a new report. The JV will see both parties working on electric vehicles, reports Reuters, citing two sources familiar with the matter. 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 now considering another joint venture in China so that it can increase its production volumes and strengthen its electric vehicle presence in the market.

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

Munich has already been building BMWs in China with Brilliance Auto since 2003. As a result, names like Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co. and Renault-Nissan have all announced electric vehicle joint ventures in China this year. China wants electric and hybrid cars to make up at least a fifth of the country's auto sales by 2025 and plans to loosen joint-venture regulations to achieve the target. Shares in Brilliance fell on Wednesday.

Regardless of whether the deal with Great Wall is successful, BMW's partnership with Brilliance is expected to continue.

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.

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 shares of the company will resume trading on October 16, it said.