BMW mulling electric venture with Great Wall for China

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The JV will see both parties working on electric vehicles, reports Reuters, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

For those unfamiliar with the market, foreign carmakers are required to team up with local partners in China.

However, BMW Group is facing the same financial headwinds as most other automakers as they transition to electrification.

Analysts from U.S. 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. China wants electric and hybrid cars to make up at least a fifth of the country's auto sales by 2025 and plans to loosen joint-venture regulations to achieve the target. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA said his company won't consider selling Jeep as a separate entity and rejected the idea of making a deal with Chinese rival Great Wall Motor Co, reports Bloomberg.

"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.

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A Great Wall official declined to comment.

It's also reported that Great Wall recently secured a deal for supplies of lithium, a key mineral in the production of battery packs in electric vehicles. Local media speculation of a tie-up with BMW sent its shares soaring 14% Wednesday, prompting suspension in trading.

Great Wall's Shanghai-listed shares have been suspended since late last month.

The aim of the new partnership is so that BMW can increase production volumes and its market share in the EV segment.

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