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GWM-BMW joint venture given green-light to build facility for ICEV production, BEV R&D

Monika From Gasgoo| November 26 , 2019

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Spotlight Automotive Limited, a joint venture between Great Wall Motor and BMW Group, has been given a governmental approval to build a vehicle manufacturing plant, the Baojing-based automaker announced on November 22.

GWM BMW joint venture, Spotlight Automotive, China automotive news

The construction of Spotlight Automotive's vehicle plant is set to start next year and be completed by 2022 with a total investment of roughly RMB5.1 billion, according to the announcement, citing a reply issued by Jiangsu Development & Reform Commission.

The plant will be built in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province, covering an area of around 930mu (620,000 square meters). Under the completion of the project, Spotlight Automotive will be allowed to produce 160,000 fossil fuel-powered PVs per year and to carry out R&D activities for all-electric PVs there. The internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) output should be entirely exported outside China.

The ICEV-focused facilities include workshops for stamping, welding, painting and assembly, as well as a circuit for car tests. In addition, buildings used for R&D of the next-generation all-electric PVs will be constructed as well.

GWM BMW joint venture, Spotlight Automotive, China automotive news

On July 10, 2018, BMW Group and GWM signed an agreement to produce MINI electric vehicles through a 50:50 joint venture based in China, namely, Spotlight Automotive. As well as MINI EVs, the joint venture would also produce EVs for Great Wall Motor, BMW Group said then.

In August, 2019, there were reports saying that the tie-up between the Chinese and German automakers could fail. Responding to the rumor, Great Wall Motor said the “the Spotlight Automotive project is proceeding smoothly.” 

Reportedly, Spotlight Automotive is scheduled to produce its first model, a compact all-electric SUV with range of over 500km, in 2021. The second model is likely to be the BEV version of the MINI (photo source: Great Wall Motor's WeChat account).

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