Great Wall Motor in Talks With BMW Over Mini Brand in China

Great Wall Motor in Talks With BMW Over Mini Brand in China

Great Wall is planning to start production in the US, Wei said in March.

"As of the date of this announcement, the company and BMW have not entered into any legal (agreement) for the establishment of a joint venture in China", Great Wall said in its statement. The prospective deal focuses specifically on electric vehicles, according to sources familiar with the matter.

"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.

Analysts from United States 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.

Association with Great Wall would see increase in both BMW's production volume and its EV share in one of the largest automobile industry in the world.

Munich has already been building BMWs in China with Brilliance Auto since 2003.

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Tesla, Ford Motor Co, Daimler AG, and General Motors are among those that have already announced plans for making electric vehicles in China.

The talks of an alliance between BMW and Great Wall come at a time when Chinese government is aggressively pushing automakers to switch to alternative fuel vehicles.

Reuters earlier this week reported the two automakers were looking to establish a joint venture in China.

Last month it struck a deal to secure supplies of lithium, a mineral key for developing electric vehicles.

Brokerage Jefferies said in a note that it was "understandable that BMW needs a new partner to defend its market share in a more competitive market", and expected that the move would hit current partner Brilliance.

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