(Yicai Global) Oct. 17 -- BMW will stop making electric Minis in the United Kingdom before the end of next year and shift their production to China.
Spotlight Automotive, a joint venture between the German auto giant and Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motors, will oversee production of the battery electric Mini, BMW China told Yicai Global yesterday.
BMW’s electric Mini plant in Oxford was not running efficiently because of the production of both electric and petrol cars, Stefanie Wurst, head of the Mini brand, told reporters. The Oxford plant is a major production base for Minis. The first electric Mini Cooper SE rolled off its assembly line.
Spotlight, BMW’s first battery electric JV worldwide, was set up in December 2019 with a total investment of CNY5.1 billion (USD700 million). With annual production capacity of 160,000 vehicles once operational this year, it will turn out new models from Great Wall as well as electric Minis.
Foreign automakers are increasing their investment in China, given the rapid growth of its EV market. BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz have each set up new energy vehicle production lines in the country.
As part of the partnership between BMW and Great Wall, the Mini Aceman, BMW’s next-generation battery electric model, will now be made in China. Mini will produce two battery electric models in China next year, the car brand said last November, predicting that electric Mini sales will account for half of Mini’s global sales by 2027.
Mini will unveil its last fuel vehicle in 2025 and become BMW’s first brand to go fully electric by early 2030, according to the company’s plans. It will at least halve its carbon emissions per vehicle in 2030 compared with 2019.
Editor: Shi Yi, Futura Costaglione