BMW raises stake in main China JV with $4.2 billion deal

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BMW to spend $4.1bn to take control of its China venture

He said control of the joint venture could spur BMW to bring production of models like the BMW X4, X5 and X6 sport utility vehicles, which are now built in the United States, to China.

BMW is one of the biggest exporters of vehicles from the United States to China, putting it firmly in the crosshairs of the trade war.

Foreign automakers have always been restricted to holding no more than a 50 percent stake in their China operations, but Beijing chose to relax the ownership caps this year.

The deal will see BMW increase its stake in the partnership to 75 per cent from 50 per cent and makes it the first company in China's vehicle sector to take advantage of Beijing's removal of foreign-ownership limits. "Our success story goes hand in hand with the success of the joint venture BBA". The partnership accounted for most of Brilliance's profit a year ago.

The term of the joint venture is to be extended to 2040 from 2028, the German automaker said. That marked the first time a foreign carmaker established a full presence in China without a partner.

But if the move is a big win for BMW, it spells a diminished role for its Hong Kong-listed partner.

"We are now embarking on a new era", BMW chief executive Harald Kruger said in a speech at an event in the northeast Chinese city of Shenyang on Thursday. He thanked Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, whom he said "personally supported" the plan. Production capacity there will remain the same, but the structure of the plant will gradually be expanded for future BMW model variants and the expected market growth.

Starting in 2020, BMW will launch its all-electric BMW iX3, which will be assembled at the Dadong factory in Shenyang for delivery to Chinese customers or export to the rest of the world. Last year, around 560,000 BMW brand vehicles were delivered to Chinese customers.

Brilliance traded down 26% at 10.02am local time.

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