BMW partners with Great Wall Motors to build Mini E vehicles

By Daniel Brightmore
BMW Group and Great Wall Motor are supporting e‑mobility by building a joint plant in China, to manufacture future fully-electric models of the Mini...

BMW Group and Great Wall Motor are supporting e‑mobility by building a joint plant in China, to manufacture future fully-electric models of the Mini.

Announcing the creation of the joint venture,Spotlight Automotive Limited, Klaus Fröhlich, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development, commented: 

“Today we are taking the next step in our collaboration: With the BMW Group as a pioneer in the field of electromobility and Great Wall as a major player and expert in industrialisation in the Chinese market, we are joining forces for development and production of the future electric MINI and new Great Wall models.”

The new plant, in the city of Zhangjiagang in China’s Jiangsu Province, will have a standard capacity of up to 160,000 vehicles per year, which will require around 3,000 employees after the ramp-up phase. Both partners will together invest around 650 million Euro. The construction phase is planned for 2020 to 2022.

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As well as production, the innovative joint venture model also includes joint development of battery-electric vehicles in the world’s largest market for electromobility. Spotlight is planning production of future electric MINI vehicles, as well as several models and brands for Great Wall Motor. Following the launch of the brand-new first-generation fully-electric Mini, which will be built at Oxford and come to market in the first quarter of 2020, this is another important step towards the Mini brand’s electrified future. 

Mini Plant Oxford, which recently built the 10 millionth car since the brand’s launch in 1959, will remain the heart and home of Mini manufacturing, while the Spotlight Automotive joint venture will provide additional capacity and flexibility.

Zhangjiagang was chosen as the location of the Spotlight plant because of its solid supplier network, skilled workforce and good infrastructure. Jiangsu is also one of the leading provinces for finance, education and technology.

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