Great Wall to build MINIs in China

Great Wall is one of few Chinese carmakers without an worldwide carmaking partner.

BMW AG is working on a deal to outsource the manufacturing of Mini cars in China to Great Wall Motor Co, the country's biggest SUV maker, according to people with knowledge of the plan.

Association with Great Wall would see increase in both BMW's production volume and its EV share in one of the largest automobile industry in the world.

Great Wall, which does not have any car-making partners, did not make an immediate comment on the report on Wednesday, while BMW also declined to immediately comment. The prospective deal focuses specifically on electric vehicles, according to sources familiar with the matter.

BMW's China sales grew 11.3 percent past year. BMW is trying to stay ahead of third-place Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, which recorded 26.6 percent growth in China sales in 2016 thanks to a fresher model lineup.

"China has made it clear that basically it will not approve of new gasoline-car partnerships". The German carmaker now has a joint venture with Brilliance China Automotive Holding, with the contract to expire by 2028.

BMW is refusing to confirm it is negotiating cooperation with Great Wall to build cars together in China.

Great Wall, which in August expressed an interest in the Jeep brand of Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's, is one of China's largest auto makers.

Trading would be suspended pending clarification of press articles, the company said.

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