Great Wall seeks to double vehicle sales by 2025, plans electric car push

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Great Wall Motor Co Ltd aims to more than double its annual sales to 2 million vehicles by 2025, with roughly a third of those expected to be all-electric battery cars.

FILE PHOTO: A Great Wall Motors Haval HB-02 concept vehicle is presented during the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing, China, April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

The Baoding-based automaker also plans to invest 20 billion yuan ($3.2 billion) on electric vehicle research and development by 2020, Great Wall Motor President Wang Fengying told a session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing.

Wang’s remarks come as China’s industrial policymakers try to engineer a dramatic shift away from conventional gasoline cars with subsidies and strict production quotas for electric and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles.

The company “will push forward with a renewable innovation strategy and will aim to assume leading positions” in electric battery vehicle technology as well as hydrogen electric fuel-cell know-how, she said.

Great Wall Motor sold 950,315 vehicles last year, down 1.9 percent from 2016, according to Automotive Foresight, a Shanghai-based consultancy.

Great Wall Motor and Germany’s BMW aim to jointly produce electric Mini vehicles in China, signing a letter of intent last month.

A successful conclusion to the talks would give Great Wall Motor its first foreign manufacturing partner and result in the first Mini assembly site outside Europe for BMW.

Wang also said on Thursday that the company planned to launch three new heavily electrified car models this year and two more next year.

Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu; Editing by Edwina Gibbs