BEIJING -- Great Wall Motor has gained domestic regulatory approval to build a factory with BMW in a move that could see BMW build electric Minis in China.
In February 2018, BMW and Great Wall signed a letter of intent to produce battery-powered Minis in China.
The venture aimed to open a plant in Zhangjiagang with the capacity to build 160,000 gasoline vehicles for export and another 160,000 so-called New Energy Vehicles (NEVs), according to documents on the city's website.
The project has been delayed by regulatory hurdles.
In a Shanghai Stock Exchange filing on Friday, Great Wall said the project would have a total investment of 5.1 billion yuan ($724.4 million) with construction due to begin next year and be completed in 2022.
Great Wall said capacity for NEVs (battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles) has yet to be approved by authorities.
A trade dispute between China and the U.S. has led BMW executives to freeze plans for the creation of a Chinese export hub. BMW said at the Geneva auto show in March that it needed to evaluate whether the export plan is financially viable.
BMW declined to comment on the Great Wall stock exchange filing.
BMW sells just over 2 million cars a year and Great Wall sold more than 1 million vehicles last year.