Rumor: BMW and Chinese Automaker to Jointly Develop Next MINI Platform

MINI Vision

BMW is currently in talks with Chinese automaker Great Wall to jointly develop the next MINI platform. That’s the rumor that was floated by Automotive Magaine’s Georg Kacher who is as well connected as they come in the automotive journalism world.

What’s interesting about the rumor is that it would represent a large increase in production scale which would allow for higher quality components and innovation around electrification to be potentially more cost effective for a small brand like MINI.

Great Wall’s new luxury divsion Wey looks to be the benefactor of this collaboration as it better aligns with quality of product that MINI and BMW are known for. But given what it being dicussed, the collaboration will likely be invisible to the end consumer. Further it’s likely that the tie-up wouldn’t impact production of MINIs in the UK or Europe but would instead offer BMW a chance to defray the enormous engineering and design costs in creating a overarching platform for MINIs and front wheel drive BMWs – likely totaling close to 1 million units. This cost is especially hard to swallow as BMW has vowed to remain fluid when it comes to drivetrain choices for these cars. That would means a chassis capable of easily offering petrol, diesel, hybrid and full electric drivetrains.

Talks are reportedly ongoing so watch this space.

  • Nick Dawson

    If it goes ahead, this will be a win win for both sides. provided that BMW has complete control over the development of its version of the joint platform. In any event, BMW is already in talks with Great Wall Motor to build MINIs in China.

    With China overtaking the US as the world’s largest automotive market (and one with ambitious electric car plans) its a move that makes a lot of sense for BMW and MINI, particularly if it leads to the development of a smaller ‘MINI Minor’ City Car.

  • Iain Brown

    I’m done. See you MINI.

    • Nick Dawson

      Iain – this is not such a horror story as it might first appear. Cross cooperation between car makers has always taken place, but is increasing going global across the auto industry in both directions.

      Look what has happened since Albert Biermann – former Vice president engineering, for BMW M – joined Hyundai Kia as Executive vice president for vehicle testing and high performance development. The Kia Stinger and Hyundai i30N were both developed under Biermann, and are getting rave reviews around the world.

  • Mr Remi

    If this leads to a smaller MINI, I’m all for it.

    Plus, this partnership can’t really worsen reliability, can it?