Jeep not for sale; Great Wall mulls a joint venture with BMW

BMW is looking to expand its presence in China to build EVs potentially with Great Wall Motors

BMW is looking to expand its presence in China to build EVs potentially with Great Wall Motors

The company said its shares will resume trading when markets open on Monday. Additionally, rumours regarding Great Wall's interest in the Jeep brand have been circulating of late - though parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has already played down that idea. The prospective deal focuses specifically on electric vehicles, according to sources familiar with the matter.

BMW (BMWG.DE) would like to grow its Mini brand in China with the help of a Chinese partner, the group said on Friday, after China's Great Wall Motor (601633.SS)(2333.HK) said it was in talks to cooperate with the German premium carmaker.

BMW may outsource production of Mini vehicles to China's Great Wall Motors as it looks to cut production costs.

"The change in the industry that looms large is significant, it's coming and there's no longer the question of when - it's now", BMW's head of purchasing, Markus Duesmann, told Bloomberg in September, referencing the rising cost of auto development as governments impose strict regulations on fossil fuel vehicles.

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Analysts from USA finance firm Bernstein believe the venture between BMW and Great Wall would have to exclusively sell EVs due to China's crackdown on emissions and new combustion vehicle businesses.

"Our business development with the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive will continue as planned, and we will carry on to invest and develop our joint venture." a spokesman for BMW said, declining to comment on any new joint venture. Unfortunately, no official confirmed the news when reached out to for comments and it remains to be seen if this report holds any water or not.

Last month it struck a deal to secure supplies of lithium, a mineral key for developing electric vehicles.

Patrick Yuan, an analyst at Jefferies Hong Kong, said it is understandable that BMW needs a new partner to defend its market share in a more competitive market.

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