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.