Back in June, we reported that BMW is considering building the next generation MINI at the Nedcar plant in Netherlands. On Monday, the reports are finally confirmed. Dutch company VDL signed a deal to take over Mitsubishi’s plant and start producing MINI vehicles.
“The deal with Mitsubishi to take over the NedCar factory in Born has been signed,” VDL said in a statement for AFP. The production will commence in the second half of 2014 when the new MINI will be launched.
All of the 1,500 workers at the facility will continue to be employed.
BMW and MINI will take over the western plant from Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi which announced in February it was planning to halt automobile production in Europe by the end of 2012. The Japanese automaker aimed to save all the 1,500 jobs by selling the factory the symbolic price of one euro.
Our own Hugo Becker said in a previous article that the Nedcar plant will be an extension to the factories in the UK, rather than one where a brand new product will be assembled.
BMW is likely to build an existing model there and use the capacity relief in England for new product. Building a new vehicle in a ‘new’ facility leads to too many variables for good quality control. It’s better to build something that has been built successfully previously to ensure initial quality is at the state desired. (And that’s why the 3 series is often the first vehicle built in a new plant.)