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Business deals

BMW to make electric cars in China with Great Wall from 2021

German automaker seeks bigger foothold but trade war clouds export plans

A prototype of BMW's electric Mini car. The German automaker and Great Wall plan to launch a new electric brand as well. (Photo by Kosei Fukao)

BEIJING -- BMW will begin Chinese production of electric cars from its Mini brand in 2021 with local partner Great Wall Motor as the automakers share the investment burden amid shifts in the industry landscape, but their export plans could be derailed if U.S.-China trade talks sour.

A 50-50 joint venture dubbed Spotlight Automotive will be established in the Jiangsu Province city of Zhangjiagang in central China with a capitalization of 1.7 billion yuan ($253 million). A 5.1 billion yuan factory with a capacity of about 160,000 vehicles per year will be built.

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