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.

MINI Oxford plant 35 750x500

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