Electric Vehicles

206404BMW Invests More in UK EV Mini Production

BMW Invests More in UK EV Mini Production

By Boris Kamchev - Sep 15, 2023

BMW said earlier this week that it would invest £600 million (U.S. $750 million) in production of new-generation Mini EVs at it plants in Oxford and Swindon.

BMW, the owner of the iconic British car Mini, is expected to churn out its last gasoline-powered unit by the end of the decade, gearing up to build its two models – the three-door Mini Cooper and the small SUV Mini Aceman – as all-electric from 2026. The investment will transform the plant in Oxford to an all-electric production site from 2030.

“With this new investment we will develop the Oxford plant for production of the new generation of electric Minis and set the path for purely electric car manufacturing in the future,” Milan Nedeljković, BMW’s head of production, said in a news release on September 11 “By 2030 production volume will be exclusively electric and the BMW Group will have spent over £3 billion on its Swindon, Hams Hall and Oxford plants since 2000.”

The development has been supported with £75 million from the UK Government and will help to secure jobs at the Oxford manufacturing plant and at the body-pressing facility in Swindon. However, the company plans to import batteries from Europe and China.

The German carmaker is the third major car company in the UK in recent months that has committed to the transition to e-mobility. Tata Group, the owner of two other classic British marques Jaguar Land Rover, said in July that it would spend £4 billion to build a battery plant in western England. And last week, Stellantis, the UK’s leading commercial vans maker, began producing electric vans at its plant near Liverpool, after an investment of £100 million.

The BMW’s Oxford plant celebrated its 110th anniversary this year and has been successfully producing the current Mini Electric since 2019, where it is fully integrated into the production line with the conventional internal combustion engine models, the company said.

The plant’s future was uncertain after BMW said last year that it would cease production of the first electric Mini model there and move it to China. The plans in the UK included only continuation of the operations to produce ICE cars, which the automotive giant promised to phase out by 2030.

“Mini has always been aware of its history – Oxford is and remains the heart of the brand,” said Stefanie Wurst, head of the Mini brand at BMW.

BMW will still build the same models at a new facility in China as part of its joint venture with Great Wall Motor and expects exports from that plant to begin in 2024. It will make the new Mini Countryman at a plant in Leipzig, Germany.

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