MINI made the news a while back when the British company announced plans to join forces with a local Chinese partner, Great Wall. While some might’ve been taken aback by this move, since parent company BMW is already working with Brilliance Automotive in the Asian country, this decision makes sense if the Brits want to be successful on Chinese soil in the future, especially since the local Government put in place a couple of new regulations regarding local car manufacturing.
China wants to change the way it is perceived globally when it comes to pollution and e-mobility. Therefore the authorities are actually making an effort to drop CO2 emissions by as much as possible and a recent decision claims that EVs sold in China need to be built locally using parts also made in China. Therefore, even the batteries used for EVs need to be manufactured locally, prompting a couple of interesting changes in approach for a number of manufacturers.
For example, BMW announced yesterday that their iX3 model will also be built in China, with batteries procured from local manufacturers, as a result of this decision. As it turns out, MINI will follow in its footsteps, according to Auto Express. The British magazine reports that a second MINI EV will be built in China by Great Wall and will be sold exclusively locally. That’s mostly due to the fact that BMW decided the first all-electric MINI will be built in Oxford and, therefore, won’t be eligible for import into China.
At the moment, China is MINI’s fourth largest market in the world, accounting for some 35,000 cars annually but all of that can change once the new EV comes out. Since it’s going to be built exclusively for the Chinese market, expect it to be a bit different from what the Brits are planning for the rest of the world, not necessarily when it comes to specs but more so when it comes to the design inside and out.