Germany’s BMW has broken ground for a new factory to produce battery-powered Mini cars in China, forging ahead in its partnership with domestic manufacturer Great Wall Motor despite a slowdown in the world’s largest electric vehicle market, reported the Financial Times.
The partnership is the latest of several between Chinese and international automakers focusing on EV production in response to rapid growth in China’s new energy vehicles, or NEVs, a category that includes both hybrids and fully electric models.
That growth has stalled in recent months after the government curbed subsidies for both buyers and manufacturers. The partnership with Great Wall would help bring down costs for electrification, especially for smaller cars, BMW chief financial officer Nicolas Peter told the Financial Times. Reducing such costs was the industry’s “number one challenge”.
International automakers have been left trying to balance the risks of overestimating growth in China’s NEV market against the government’s push for a fifth of Chinese car sales to be NEVs by 2025.