Is BMW about to become the first foreign automaker to have a majority stake in a China JV?

Is BMW about to become the first foreign automaker to have a majority stake in a China JV?

Reports in China say that BMW is about to become the first foreign carmaker to hold a majority stake in a joint venture in the country.

The China Daily cited a State Council announcement on its website last week and other media reports and suggested BMW could take a stake as high as 75% (currently at 50%) in the Brilliance joint venture.

Bloomberg also reported a new ownership structure will be unveiled soon, citing a person familiar with the plan.

"We cannot comment in detail on the state of our ongoing discussions with our partner Brilliance at this point in time," said BMW in a statement to China Daily.

But, the carmaker also said that it "welcomes China's commitment to further market opening and reforms by lifting the foreign shareholding limit for automotive joint ventures for passenger vehicles from 2022".

The joint venture BMW Brilliance was established in 2003. It has localised six BMW models in the country and produces the majority of BMWs sold in China.

A long-term deal BMW signed with Brilliance last week plans to expand the joint venture's annual production capacity.

See also: BMW and Brilliance Automotive expand their joint venture in China