About a month ago, MINI reached an important sales milestone in Brazil where it celebrated delivering the 25,000th vehicle by introducing a special edition of the John Cooper Works three-door hot hatchback. Another branch from Latin America is now celebrating a similar achievement, with Mexico handing over the keys to the 75,000th car.
The BMW Group launched the MINI brand in Mexico back in 2002 and delivered this month this Cooper SE in Moonwalk Gray as the milestone vehicle. While this car was assembled at home in Oxford, its direct replacement won’t be built in the United Kingdom anymore. Instead, it’s going to be manufactured in China by Spotlight Automotive, a 50:50 joint venture between parent company BMW and local automaker Great Wall Motor.
The Cooper SE’s second generation will be officially revealed in the coming months before entering production at the new plant in Zhangjiagang where the Aceman will also be made from 2024. Together with the next-generation Countryman coming with an EV option, MINI will pave the way for going purely electric early next decade.
Mexico is an important country for the BMW Group considering it operates a factory in San Louis Potosi. It’s the place where the 2 Series Coupe (including M2) and 3 Series Sedan are made, with new models on the way courtesy of an €800-million investment to build Neue Klasse EVs. No fewer than 1,000 new jobs will be created, and some of the funds will go into a new battery assembly facility. The plan is to start production of NE-based cars in 2027.
It’s too soon to say which models are going to be built in Mexico but we do know the neighboring Spartanburg plant in North America will be making at least six Neue Klasse SUVs by the end of the decade. Meanwhile, the first NE cars will come to life from the new Debrecen factory in Hungary in 2025, with Munich to follow a year later.