Automaker BMW and Great Wall push their plan for the production of electric cars especially in China. In the long term, around 160,000 electric vehicles from the BMW Mini and from Great Wall are to roll off the production line in a joint factory per year, as BMW announced on Friday at the start of construction in the city of Zhangjiagang near Shanghai.
The work itself is to be built by 2022. This is usually followed by a multi-year period for plant construction, pre-series production and start-up phase. The project, agreed in 2018, initially encountered obstacles in the approval process.
With the plant, BMW is strengthening its presence in China, where the government is pushing the industry to build electric cars. For electric minis, Zhangjiagang becomes Oxford’s second manufacturing facility.
The German company already holds a majority stake in China in a joint venture with the carmaker Brilliance, which produces vehicles of the BMW brand.
Half of the two partners are involved in the Great Wall joint venture called Spotlight Automotive Limited. They want to invest the equivalent of 650 million euros in the plant, which should employ 3,000 people.
Meanwhile, the weakening automaker Audi cuts investment in view of its austerity. For the next five years until 2024, the Volkswagen subsidiary wants to put together around 37 billion euros in research and development and capital investment, as the company announced on Friday in Ingolstadt, a city of Bavaria.
In the last five-year plan from 2019 to 2023 Audi had estimated 40 billion euros. The current planning reflects a better investment and cost discipline, it said.
Audi is currently significantly reducing its capacity in the under-utilized German plants Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. 9500 jobs are to be eliminated without redundancies, in return Audi wants to create 2000 new jobs in other areas.
However, the company wants to invest more money in certain areas. Of the planned investments until 2024, a large part is intended to flow into electric drives and models.
“With around 12 billion euros, we will spend more than ever before for electromobility by 2024”, said Audi CFO Alexander Seitz, who will move to core brand VW Passenger Cars on 1 March in the same capacity.
The investment plans are part of the five-year budget round of the VW Group, which was presented two weeks ago. The Wolfsburg want across all brands group-wide by 2024 around 150 billion euros in investment, research and development. Of this amount, around 33 billion will be available for electric mobility alone.