It was announced today that Bmw will launch a new electric vehicle brand in China with local partner Brilliance JinBei Automovile. According to BMW head of sales and marketing Ian Robertson said this move is being made in order to meet joint venture rules. “We will have a new brand, it’s a legislative requirement,” said Ian Robertson. Moreover, he added that the electric vehicles made for China will use some of Bmw’s green powertrains.
Still, Robertson didn’t give any details regarding the future EV models or the powertrains they might have. The partnership between the two companies is not new as Bmw already collaborated with Brilliance in order to build the plug-in hybrid 5-series concept that was revealed back in 2010 at the Shanghai Auto Show.
Currently, Bmw has big plans and wants to electrify its lineup and it will launch the i3 full-electric city car in 2013 while its i8 plug-in hybrid supercar is due in 2014. Robertson said that China wants JV partnerships such as BMW-Brilliance to establish new EV brands because the country wants 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,” he said. “I think there will be a requirement of globalization 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 added. [source: Autonews]