BMW to invest in future
This takes the company’s investment across all its UK operations to more than £1.5 billion since 2000.
“We have started preparing our UK plants for production of the next generation MINI and this investment underlines that the UK will remain the heart of MINI production,” announced Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, during a visit to London.
“The MINI brand has made a significant contribution to BMW Group’s success in markets around the world and we anticipate that this will grow further in the future.”
The investment, the majority of which will be will be used to create new production facilities and equipment at MINI Plant Oxford, will help to safeguard over 5,000 jobs in the MINI vehicle assembly plant in Oxford, the pressings plant in Swindon and the company’s engine plant at Hams Hall near Birmingham.
Apprentices from the plants were also in Downing Street for the announcement.
The BMW Group has been producing MINI at Plant Oxford since 2001. In that time nearly two million vehicles have been produced at the plant and more than 1.5 million MINIs have been exported to customers in 90 different countries.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I welcome this major investment by BMW Group in UK manufacturing. The production and export of iconic British cars like the MINI is making a real contribution to the rebalancing of the economy that this government is determined to achieve.
“It’s a tremendous vote of confidence in the skills and capabilities of the company’s British workforce and in the future of UK manufacturing.
“The MINI plant in Oxford has been one of our great manufacturing success stories, they should be hugely proud of their achievements. They have shown once again that the UK is a major player in the global automotive industry.”
BMW Group’s strategy is that the location of production is linked to the large markets for its products.
The UK is the group’s fourth-largest single market in the world for sales, behind only Germany, the US and China, with sales in 2010 across the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands totalling 154,750.
Producing 216,302 vehicles in 2010 and exporting to more than 90 countries across the globe, MINI was the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in the UK, accounting for 17 per cent of national automotive production.
As part of the expansion of the MINI product line-up, the MINI Coupé will be launched in 2011, followed by the MINI Roadster in 2012 – both of which will be produced in Oxford.
For more information about MINI please visit your local Sytner MINI dealership, which are in Birmingham, Coventry, Oldbury, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield.