German luxury automaker BMW is reportedly looking to form a joint venture with Great Wall Motor sending shares in the Chinese automaker up by nearly a fifth. Kate King reports.
It launched no less than 12 new energy efficient models at the Frankfurt Auto show this year. And it seems BMW isn't content with just one Chinese venture. Reports it's looking to form an alliance with Great Wall Motor sent the Chinese firm's shares up nearly a fifth. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASPER LAWLER, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, LONDON CAPITAL GROUP, SAYING: "BMW at the moment is already the second leading premier car manufacturer within China so obviously it's trying to push into that first spot but it's getting increasing competition from Mercedes who are the third most popular there." BMW is China's second largest premium brand after Volkswagen's Audi. Its sales there grew by 11 percent last year But Mercedes enjoyed 26 percent growth - thanks to a fresher model line-up. Alternative fuels remain the focus. China wants hybrid or electric cars to make up a fifth of auto sales by 2025. It's loosening joint venture regulations to help (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASPER LAWLER, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, LONDON CAPITAL GROUP, SAYING: "Reportedly they are going to be creating a joint factory. And so again you would expect in that joint factory new modes will be created and obviously new models bring great potential for a bigger market share within China which is a hugely growing market." That's not lost on auto makers - the drive for Chinese growth is everywhere. Ford, Tesla, Daimler and General Motors have all announced plans to make electric vehicles in China.