Electric Mini models will be built at a new plant in China through a joint venture between the BMW Group and Great Wall Motor – but BMW has pledged Oxford will remain “the heart and home” of the brand’s production operation.
The German company and company Great Wall that was Chinese have established Spotlight Automotive, a new joint venture, to build and run the 555 million in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province. Due to open in 2022, it will employ 3000 employees and have a potential of up to 160,000 vehicles per year.
BMW says it’ll be used for “production of future electric Mini Vehicles”, together with several Great Wall versions, but hasn’t provided specifics of those models that are going to be constructed there. The Mini Electric, on sale early next year, will soon be built in Plant Oxford, and BMW explained that site will remain the heart and house of Mini production, while the Spotlight Automotive joint venture will offer extra flexibility and capacity.
It is also set to build something which will be sold worldwide, As soon as it’s likely that the new plant will concentrate primarily on producing Mini versions for the marketplace, likely including the Electric.
Nicholas Peter, BMW’s fund boss, said: “This joint venture will enable us to create a quantity of Mini-brand vehicles that are fully electric at attractive conditions for the entire world market. This is also an important step for the Mini brand. The combined venture with Great Wall underlines the enormous importance of the Chinese market for us.”
The BMW Group is dedicated to its sales construction in China and will continue its BMW Brilliance venture. It added the joint venture could accelerate the development of the Mini brand.