A BMW executive familiar with the matter told Reuters the report was "generally true". According to Reuters, the company's sales in China grew by 11.3 per cent past year. A cooperative relationship with Great Wall would be BMW's second in the world's largest auto market - and a necessary one, as China forces all foreign automakers to team up with local partners in order to do business within the country.
However, sources inside BMW insist that the Bavarian and Chinese car-makers plan to work together to build MINIs in China. 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. A spokesman for Great Wall declined to comment, saying the company will issue a formal statement later.
Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, which makes cars in a venture with BMW, rebounded 4.9% at 10.01am in Hong Kong after falling 2.1% on Wednesday.
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 vehicle makers. 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.
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. Its Shanghai-listed shares were suspended from trading, pending an announcement.
Brilliance China rises 1.2% to HK$21.50 after three-day losing streak.
The aim of the new partnership is so that BMW can increase production volumes and its market share in the EV segment.