BMW is reportedly in talks with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors to outsource Chinese production of the iconic Mini. The agreement would mark the first time the Mini would be produced outside of Europe and units could be exported to markets beyond China.
Currently BMW Group produces Mini models at assembly plants in the UK and Netherlands. BMW recently selected its UK plant in Oxford as the production location for an all-electric Mini model, signaling that at least some of the British-born brand will continue to be produced in its homeland.
However, BMW Group is facing the same financial headwinds as most other automakers as they transition to electrification. As such, Bloomberg reports the company is looking to outsource some Mini production to Great Wall to reduce costs. The savings would likely shift to the development and production of costly electrified models.
BMW Group has already confirmed plans to produce 12 all-electric models by 2025. Among the electrified models will be an electric version of the BMW X3 crossover and reported iNext autonomous car.
Thus far neither automaker has officially commented on the reports. Great Wall has halted trading of its shares after a 14 percent surge after news of the talks broke.