Tag Archives: venture

BMW eyes possible electric vehicle joint venture in China: sources

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – German luxury automaker BMW is looking to form a joint venture with Great Wall Motor in China, which could focus on electric vehicles, according to two sources familiar with the matter on Wednesday.

A venture with Great Wall, whose Hong-Kong listed shares leapt 20 percent on the news, would be BMW’s second in the world’s largest auto market, where foreign carmakers have to team up with local partners.

“We are in discussions with Great Wall about setting up a joint venture to produce cars in Changshu,” said a BMW executive, who was not authorized to speak on the matter and declined to be identified.

Another person familiar with the matter said the new joint venture in the eastern city of Changshu would not deal with gasoline or diesel powered cars, indicating a focus on electric vehicles was likely.

BMW’s China sales grew 11.3 percent last year. It is the country’s second-largest premium brand after Volkswagen AG’s (VOWG_p.DE) Audi AG. BMW is trying to stay ahead of third-place Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz, which recorded 26.6 percent growth in China sales in 2016 thanks to a fresher model lineup.

Car manufacturers have recently announced a raft of investments and tie-ups in China.

Tesla, Ford Motor Co, Daimler AG, and General Motors are among those that have already announced plans for making electric vehicles in China.

ELECTRIC MINI?

BMW and rival Mercedes are betting they can mass produce new electric cars based on conventional vehicle design, defying skeptics who say they will need more radical plans to head off the threat from Tesla and other start-ups.

Bernstein analysts said they believed that any new venture of BMW and Great Wall would have to sell exclusively electric vehicles (EVs), given China’s moratorium on approvals for new gasoline car businesses.

“If an agreement were to be reached, we’d expect an arrangement like Denza (Mercedes-BYD), or VW-JAC, Ford-Zotye to be the most plausible outcome, whereby a new brand is used to sell EVs,” they said in a note, adding that the vehicles could be sold under the Mini brand.

FILE PHOTO: A Great Wall Motors Haval hybrid vehicle is presented during the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing, China, April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

China wants electric and hybrid cars to make up at least a fifth of the country’s auto sales by 2025 and plans to loosen joint-venture regulations to achieve its aim.

BMW already has a joint venture in China with local carmaker Brilliance China Automotive Holdings and produces cars at two plants in Shenyang. Shares in Brilliance fell on Wednesday.

“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.

Slideshow (3 Images)

The plans were first reported by Shanghai-based www.iautodaily.com earlier on Wednesday.

“I don’t know how far along we have gone nailing this deal,” or whether the two companies have official central government approval for the venture, the BMW executive said.

A Great Wall official declined to comment.

Great Wall, which in August expressed an interest in the Jeep brand of Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV‘s, is one of China’s largest car makers.

Last month it struck a deal to secure supplies of lithium, a mineral key for developing electric vehicles.

The firm’s shares soared as much as 19.2 percent to their highest level in over two years, before paring some gains to stand up 14 percent in afternoon trade. Its Shanghai-listed shares were suspended from trading, pending an announcement.

Brilliance China Automotive’s shares were down 2.76 percent.

Brokerage Jefferies said in a note that it was “understandable that BMW needs a new partner to defend its market share in a more competitive market”, and expected that the move would hit current partner Brilliance.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI and Norihiko Shirouzu in BEIJING; Additional reporting by Irene Preisinger; Editing by Neil Fullick and Elaine Hardcastle

Tech

Silicon Valley’s Hottest Startup Incubator Takes On This Indian Venture

Just one year ago, Indian e-coupon aggregator LafaLafa.com was barely a blip in the mind of, well, anyone. It’s been quite the year though – testament to the booming tech environment in India, they’re one of the privileged few to be on their way to be accelerated by one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startup incubators.


Cloud Computing

Cisco strengthens China operations with Inspur joint venture

Cisco corporateCisco Systems is to form a joint venture with Chinese server maker Inspur, selling networking and cloud computing products in China. Cisco and Inspur will jointly invest $ 100 million in the project.

The partnership comes in the face of mutual suspicion between the US and Chinese government amid claims and counter claims of state sponsored cyber security threats.

In June Cisco was forced to remove several of its senior executives in China, amid reports of falling sales slide and Chinese government fears about the foreign ownership of networking equipment.

Cisco’s China sales fell 20 per cent on the previous year in the quarter ending on April 25 at a time when its global revenue gained 5.1 per cent. As its share of the Chinese router market fell from 21.2 per cent to 9.4 per cent the lost sales went to local rival Huawei Technologies, according to Bernstein Research.

Direct selling became more challenging, The Wall Street Journal has reported, after US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden said the NSA put surveillance tools in US technology products sold overseas.

US-Chinese technology company partnerships are growing in number and Microsoft announced on Thursday an alliance with Baidu and the Chinese state-owned private investment firm Tsinghua Unigroup on cloud technology. Last week Dell unveiled plans to invest $ 125 billion over five years in China. Earlier this year, IBM pledged to help develop China’s advanced chip industry with a ‘Made with China’ strategy, while chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm are developing chips with smaller Chinese companies.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s arrived in Seattle this morning on a state visit to the US.

Chinese officials have said the partnerships will follow the pattern of car manufacturing agreements in the past, with foreign technology firms granted market access in return for shared technology and co-operation with Chinese industry.


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