© BMW Electronics Production | November 29, 2017
BMW’s looking for partners to go small and electric
German car manufacturer BMW wants to find partners for an electrified future for the Mini. Aim is to keep both production costs and sales tag down.
The Mini — just like The Queen, Mr Bean and Sunday Roast Dinner — is quintessentially British. However, it is in the hands of Germans now and BMW wants to give the car an electrified future; and for that the company needs partners. Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the management board of BMW AG, told Reuters that the company is talking to carmakers “around the world” trying to find the right partner for the job. The challenge of building smaller electric cars is not only tied to financial issues, it’s finding the right engineering talent that can fit the necessary battery power – with enough milage to go from A to B – into a smaller vehicle. But the concept of working with one’s own competitors is not new to BMW. The German car manufacturer has previously partnered with other car companies (with Toyota Motor Corp on the development of fuel cell vehicles) in order to reduce the cost of clean vehicle technology. Great Wall Motor Co, the Chinese automaker, said last month it is in discussions with BMW about a possible venture to build the Mini’s in China. Something that Schwarzenbauer told Reuters was “speculation”. But the general plan for the Mini is to have a new electric version ready for launch in 2019 – which could eventually end up becoming an entirely electric brand, targeted towards urban consumers, Schwarzenbauer said.