Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Breakthrough In Pyongyang? Kim promises to visit Seoul and dismantle nuclear sites

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Rapper I-NZ's 'This is Iraq': When music gets political

Read more

FOCUS

Even in Kenya, exiled Burundians fear for their lives

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'The Sisters Brothers' and 'Leave No Trace'

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Stormy Daniels's X-rated book attacks Trump's presidency - and manhood

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Polar explorer Sebastian Copeland on the 'urgency' of climate change awareness

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US-China trade war deepens as Beijing calls for global support

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Amnesty warns of 'horrific' violence in Cameroon's anglophone regions

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Maduro: Let them eat steak

Read more

BMW plans electric Mini production in China

© GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP | In a China venture Minis would be built outside Europe for the first time

FRANKFURT AM MAIN (AFP) - 

German auto giant BMW said Friday it plans to build an electric version of its compact Mini in China, in a possible joint venture with local partner Great Wall.

The Munich-based group is in "advanced discussions" aimed at "a new joint venture in China", it said in a statement, adding that the two firms had signed a so-called letter of intent about the project.

If plans to build the Mini in China go ahead, it would be the first time the unmistakeable cars -- originally created by a British company -- have been built outside Europe.

But BMW and Great Wall have yet to agree on important details like where to build a factory and how much to invest.

China is the fourth-largest market for the Mini after Britain, the United States and Germany.

Some 35,000 were sold there in 2017, or around one in ten sales worldwide.

BMW follows a maxim that "production follows the market", making China ripe for investment in local manufacturing.

Reaching 560,000 units in 2017, Chinese sales of BMW-brand cars -- produced locally under a joint venture with carmaker Brilliance -- outweighed shipments in other major markets the United States and Germany combined.

"A similar growth strategy could accelerate development of the Mini brand significantly," BMW said.

It added that it would continue talks with Great Wall "without questioning BMW Group's commitment in the UK," where production of electric Minis is slated to begin at an Oxford plant next year.

The firm added that it would "further expand" its joint venture with Brilliance, but did not offer further details.

© 2018 AFP