Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

MINI to build cars in China with Great Wall

MINI to build cars in China with Great Wall

Great Wall shares have lagged behind rivals this year, with shares of Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, Brilliance China and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co traded in Hong Kong all up more than 100% in 2017 to top a Bloomberg global gauge of automakers.

German luxury automaker BMW is seeking to establish a joint venture with China's Great Wall Motor.

Another person familiar with the matter said the new joint venture in the eastern city of Changshu would not deal with gasoline or diesel powered cars, indicating a focus on electric vehicles was likely.

"A deal with Great Wall wouldn't make sense, at least today, because the two companies have no market overlap and wouldn't achieve greater scale together", the publication quoted 65-year-old Italian-Canadian business magnate as saying. That strategy helped propel the company to a 26 percent sales surge past year. It is the country's second-largest premium brand after Volkswagen AG's Audi AG.

Auto manufacturers have recently announced a raft of investments and tie-ups in China.

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The two companies are discussing the possible export of Mini brand cars from China to other markets, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

Great Wall, which does not have any car-making partners, did not make an immediate comment on the report on Wednesday, while BMW also declined to immediately comment.

The German vehicle maker said that it was in the midst of strategic development and expansion of its Mini brand, including diversification of partnerships and new cooperation models.

Trading would be suspended pending clarification of press articles, the company said.

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