"It is only possible to accelerate growth of Mini in China with a local partner". The agreement would mark the first time the Mini would be produced outside of Europe and units could be exported to markets beyond China.
Reuters earlier this week reported the two automakers were looking to establish a joint venture in China. Back then it didn't make a lot of sense because the German brand is already working with a different partner in China, Brilliance Automotive, as per the regulations of the Chinese government.
Association with Great Wall would see increase in both BMW's production volume and its EV share in one of the largest automobile industry in the world.
BMW's China sales grew 11.3 percent previous year.
BMW and rival Mercedes are betting they can mass produce new electric cars based on conventional vehicle design, defying sceptics who say they will need more radical plans to head off the threat from Tesla and other start-ups. But China's state planner has said that in principal it will not approve any new foreign joint ventures involving traditional gas-powered cars because the market is already oversupplied.
"Our business development with the joint venture BMW Brilliance Automotive will continue as planned, and we will carry on to invest and develop our joint venture." a spokesman for BMW said, declining to comment on any new joint venture.
Subsequently, Hyundai was also linked as a buyer to Jeep brand. The company said its shares will resume trading when markets open on Monday.
Great Wall shares jumped 13% this week on rumors of the tie-up, and were suspended on Thursday pending an announcement.