It’s been four months since the BMW Group kicked off production of the new MINI Countryman with combustion engines. Now, the fully electric version is rolling off the assembly line at the same factory in Leipzig. The German plant is putting together the not-so-mini crossover after a decision was made a few years ago to bring production in-house. The previous-generation model came to life in Born, The Netherlands where it was manufactured by VDL Nedcar.

The electric Countryman is made where the i3 used to be built until 2022 when BMW ended production of the quirky hatchback after nine years and 250,000 units. It’s not really a direct successor as a true entry-level model from the BMW Group isn’t due until likely 2027 or 2028 as a yet-to-be-confirmed i1. The closest thing to an attainable EV right now is the MINI 3-Door, which is currently made only in China, with production in Oxford, UK to start in 2026.

The new electric Countryman picks up where the old plug-in hybrid left off. For the new generation, BMW has decided to eschew the PHEV version altogether. The goal for 2024 is to assemble nearly 500 units per day, including those with combustion engines. That’s on top of the 800 vehicles produced daily at Leipzig where the 1 Series, 2 Series Active Tourer, and 2 Series Gran Coupe are also made.

Set to be replaced by new-generation models later this year, the hatchback and sedan are offered strictly with combustion engines. The minivan is the only model of the four compact cars that can be had as a PHEV. BMW has been upgrading the Leipzig plant since 2018 to boost its annual production capacity by 100,000 to 350,000 units.

To make it happen, more than 900 jobs are being added in production, bringing the workforce total to about 7,000 people at the end of the year. A night shift will be added this September, which means the Leipzig factory will produce cars around the clock. At the same facility, BMW also makes the batteries for the electric Countryman, which is offered in front- and all-wheel-drive versions as the single-motor E and dual-motor SE ALL4.

Source: MINI