Just last week reports started surfacing online about possible talks between BMW and Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall about a joint venture. Back then it was unclear whether the Germans would want the Chinese company to join them in making BMWs locally or, as another report later claimed, if the talks were regarding the MINI brand. Today, Great Wall issued a statement in which it basically confirms the latter report.
In what looks like typically corporate jargon, the people over at Great Wall said: “As of the date of this announcement, GWM and BMW have not entered into any legal documents for the establishment of a joint venture in China. The basic information regarding the discussion between GWM and BMW about the feasibility of co-operating to produce vehicles under the MINI brand is as follows: Both parties entered into a confidential agreement on 18 April 2016 for the feasibility of research and development of battery electric vehicles and traditional power vehicles. Both parties entered into an agreement on 21 February 2017 for discussion and evaluation on the feasibility of co-operating to produce vehicles under the MINI brand.”
Therefore, there have been talks between the two companies dating back to April 2016 but they were initially focused on development of electric and hybrid cars. However, this year, the two companies have also started talks about a possibility of manufacturing MINI models in China. Whether these would then be exported to other markets or not, remains to be seen but this is the main question we’re all asking ourselves at the moment.
However, these are all the details we have right now and, they do seem to point in a rather interesting direction considering the current situation with Brexit and all. The two companies haven’t reached an agreement on anything yet and are still negotiating apparently so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.