In 2022, total car production in the United Kingdom plummeted to 775,014 units, representing a worrying 66-year low. Despite challenging times, it would appear the BMW Group wants to secure MINI’s future in Oxford by planning a major investment. Sky News reports the automotive conglomerate is putting the finishing touches on a £500-million plan for the factory in Cowley. At current exchange rates, that works out to almost $595 million.
MINI’s parent company isn’t expected to provide the entire sum as approximately £75 million ($89.1 million) would come from the UK’s Automotive Transformation Fund. Sky News contacted BMW but the German luxury brand refused to comment on the rumor. However, it did say most next-generation MINI models will be built at home in Oxford. That will include the convertible as the car’s production will move in-house in 2025 compared to the current model assembled in The Netherlands by manufacturing company VDL Nedcar.
An official announcement is expected to take place in the coming weeks. As a refresher, the new electric 3-Door will be built in China by Spotlight Automotive, a 50:50 joint venture between the BMW Group and Great Wall Motor. The zero-emission hatch is going to be assembled alongside the Aceman, a subcompact electric-only crossover. As for the third-gen Countryman and its electric sibling, it’ll be built by BMW at its Leipzig Plant, but there won’t be a plug-in hybrid option this time around.
MINI will gradually transition to an all-electric lineup, with the plan to go EV-only by 2030 when Rolls-Royce will also abandon combustion engines. As for the main BMW brand, it has not set a date for the ICE’s demise since it believes the world won’t be ready for electric adoption in the foreseeable future. In some regions, gasoline cars (and diesel ones to a lesser extent) will remain popular due to the lower asking price and the underdeveloped charging infrastructure for EVs.
Source: Sky News