BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) was founded in 2003 as a joint venture between the BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd to make and sell cars in China. Relevant examples include the long-wheelbase i5 and iX1 pictured here, but BBA also builds a stretched 3 Series Sedan (including an electric i3) and an elongated X5. In 2022, BMW increased its share in the JV from 50% to 75%, effectively becoming a majority stakeholder. At that point, the two renewed their partnership contract until 2040.
However, a new report alleges the two companies might part ways. Automotive News Europe claims that Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd is looking to get out of the joint venture by selling its remaining 25% stake in BBA. A final decision has allegedly not been taken yet and it may ultimately not happen, according to people familiar with the matter cited by ANE.
As to why Brilliance Auto Group Holdings Co might want to potentially retire the JV it has had with BMW for two decades, the company is currently undergoing restructuring due to financial troubles.
BBA operates two factories in China and assembled more than 700,000 cars in 2021. Per the new deal reached in 2022, the goal is to boost production further. Locally designed and built electric vehicles on the Neue Klasse platform have already been confirmed to launch in 2026. In the meantime, we’re hearing a long-wheelbase 2 Series Gran Coupe (F78) will be built there in early 2025.
BBA has a maximum annual production capacity of 830,000 units and employs more than 30,000 people. Aside from two car factories, the joint venture also operates a research and development center in Shenyang as the company’s largest R&D center outside of Germany. It also plans to build a battery assembly plant for BMW’s sixth-generation batteries with round cells that will be going first in the Neue Klasse-based EVs.
Source: Automotive News Europe