BMW is set to create a new electric vehicle sub-brand in China, together with local partner Brilliance Jinbei Automobile, according to a report. The creation of the brand is coming about in order to meet China’s joint-venture rules.
“We will have a new brand. It’s a legislative requirement,” BMW’s chief of sales and marketing Ian Robertson told Automotive News Europe, adding that the EVs destined for the Chinese market will utilise some of the electric powertrains that the company is developing.
According to Robertson, China is looking towards JV partnerships such as BMW-Brilliance to establish new EV brands, with an aim for the country to grow its exports.
“The Chinese auto market is the biggest in the world, but what they haven’t really got is an international brand with Chinese origin. I think there will be a requirement of globalisation of a Chinese brand. What’s happening is that we’re all encouraged to have more brands with a new technology element to it. If that technology is proven to be successful, then there’s an opportunity for that brand to grow and prosper,” he said.
No details were forthcoming on the models for China and their powertrains. Earlier in the year, BMW – in collaboration with Brilliance – debuted a concept plug-in hybrid 5-series at Auto Shanghai. The company plans to introduce its i3 EV in 2013 and its i8 plug-in hybrid in 2014 in China.