This could help BMW build EVs faster than Mercedes and Audi.
Chinese automakers don’t get a lot of press in the US because none sell passenger cars for US consumption. This hasn’t stopped China’s Great Wall Motor Company from being in the news lately. The Chinese company is interested in buying the Jeep brand or possibly all of FCA. While most of these reports haven’t panned out, Great Wall is back in the news after discussing a partnership with BMW. Automotive News reports that the two companies could be looking to form a joint venture.
An executive from BMW confirmed that the two companies discussed opening a new plant in the eastern Chinese city of Changshu, but declined to say what sort of cars would be built there. The executive was not authorized to speak about the deal nor were they allowed to be identified. They stated that “I don’t know how far along we have gone nailing this deal.” Another person who is familiar with the two companies indicated that the deal would not involve any gasoline or diesel engines. This indicates that the joint venture would likely focus on producing EV models.
A venture with Great Wall would be BMW’s second in China. The German automaker already works with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings because foreign automakers are forced to operate in China with local partners. BMW and the Great Wall declined to comment, but it will be interesting to see what comes of this joint venture. If we hear that BMW will be producing its new EV models in China, we will have a good idea of which company will be helping to build them.