The BMW Mini production plan in Britain has been revved up to £500m


Sky News has discovered that BMW expects to announce its selection later withinside the spring, with an industry insider saying on Wednesday that it is expected to be unveiled within a few weeks.

If confirmed, the investment package – thought to be worth around £500m – would give Britain’s car industry a major boost. A source confirmed that around £75m of the funding will come from the Government’s Automotive Transformation Fund, which has been signed by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Sky News reported on talks between BMW and the government last month. It was not clear exactly how the total investment would be structured, or what the specific implications would be for job creation and retention at the company’s Oxford site.

In response to an inquiry by Sky News, a BMW spokesman said the company did not comment on “media speculation”, but added: “With its high degree of flexibility, competitiveness, and efficiency, the Oxford plant plays an important role in the production of the BMW Group.

NETWORK “For the next MINI generation, Oxford will produce most of the MINI models, the MINI Cooper three-door and Five-door models, in addition to the MINI Convertible – one of our maximum critical automobiles and a worldwide bestsellers.

BMW has previously said that its all-electric Mini models – a hatchback and a small crossover – will be produced in China as part of a partnership with Great Wall, one of the country’s largest carmakers.

Starting this year, the Mini Countryman will be built in Leipzig, Germany. Assuming the latest plans come to fruition, they will represent a fillip for the UK car industry just Weeks after it emerged that the arena had its worst yr in phrases of manufacturing for the reason that 1950s.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), in 2022, automakers produced just 775,000 vehicles, a decline of nearly 10%. Supply chain problems such as component shortages were a major factor in the decline, but the recent collapse of the new electric vehicle battery maker BritishVolt has deepened the gloom surrounding the industry.

BritishVolt’s generation has been received through Recharge Industries, an Australian company. Production of the Mini at Cowley resumed in the 1950s, and in the early 2000s under BMW ownership. Around 200,000 Mini Oxfords are built each year, with around 80% destined for the export market.

The plant employs nearly 4,000 people, making it easily one of the most significant in Britain. Nissan and Ford have both announced new investments in their UK facilities over the past year, with the latter saying in December it would spend £150m on its Halewood plant in Liverpool to expand production of electric car parts.

BMW announced in 2021 that it would stop making the electric Mini in Oxford, adding last October that the UK plant would instead make the Mini Cooper three-door and five-door hatch models. “In addition, the Mini Convertible will return to Oxford from 2025 – one of our most important cars and a global best-seller,” it said at the time.

“The electric MINI – a hatchback and small SUV – will start their production in China through our partnership with Great Wall and the electric Countryman will be built in Leipzig [Germany].

A government spokesman said last month that the UK was “one of the world’s best locations for automotive manufacturing. “Investment through the Automotive Transformation Fund will build a high-value end-to-end electrified automotive delivery chain withinside the UK, and this consists of unlocking non-public funding in gigafactories.

“We are working with the industry through the Automotive Council’s Skills Working Group to ensure that the UK automotive industry can support and develop the skills it needs for sustained success.

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