MINI is exclusively assembling the Convertible in The Netherlands where automotive manufacturing company VDL Nedcar is producing the chic cabrio. However, it’s only a matter of time before the model will once again be built at home in the United Kingdom. In an interview with Autocar, the automaker’s head honcho Stefanie Wurst revealed the model will return to the Oxford plant: “The Convertible is coming home.”
However, it won’t happen overnight as the current-generation MINI Convertible is not going to be discontinued anytime soon. The switch will take place sometime in 2024 or even 2025. Before that happens, the revamped gasoline-fueled hatchback in three- and five-door body styles will enter production toward the end of 2023.
While the MINI Convertible is coming home, the electric hatchback is going away. Indeed, the Cooper S E will be assembled in China through the local joint venture with Great Wall Motor on a separate car platform. It means that even though the combustion-engined and electric hatchbacks will look very much alike from the outside, they’ll technically be different cars underneath the skin.
There aren’t plans to build an electric five-door hatchback because a production version of the Aceman concept has been tasked to fulfill that role. The electric crossover is going to be assembled in the People’s Republic as well and is slated to go on sale in 2024. In terms of size, it’ll be smaller than the next-generation Countryman, which is set to spawn an electric version. By the way, both ICE and EV versions of the new Countryman will be built in Germany at the Leipzig plant where the BMW X1 and iX1 are manufactured.
In related news, Stefanie Wurst hinted production of an electric model could return to Oxford later this decade. She suggested it might happen in 2027 when the Cooper S E will receive a mid-cycle facelift. Of course, it’s bound to happen eventually considering MINI has pledged to sell only EVs from early next decade.
She went on to say production versions of the pint-sized Rocketman and the more recent Urbanaut minivan are not on the agenda. The same can be said about a new MINI One as the base Cooper will serve as the entry point into the lineup. Hotter versions of the gasoline and electric models are planned, complete with S and John Cooper Works (JCW) badges.