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BMW announces further investment in Mini production

BMW Group has announced a further US$390m (£250m) investment in its UK manufacturing operations by the end of 2015. The outlay will cover upgrades at the Mini plant in Oxford, steel body pressings operation at Swindon and engine plant at Hams Hall near Birmingham.

BMW says the investment supports the company's international growth strategy for the Mini brand with increasing volumes and up to 10 different models in the new line-up in the mid-term. It comes on top of the U$781m (£500m) UK investment announced in June 2011 and means additional job security for the 5,500 UK associates working in the UK Mini production network.

"A year ago we announced a further investment of £500m in our UK production network by 2014 and today we are announcing an additional £250m, taking us through to 2015. This brings the total to £1.75 billion (US$2.73bn) since 2000," said Harald Krueger, member of the board of management at BMW Group. "Over the last eleven years, Mini has been a unique global success and the BMW Group has even greater plans for the future development of the brand. Plant Oxford has played a major role in this with cars being exported to over 100 countries around the world. This additional investment is great news for all our employees in the UK and shows the BMW Group's commitment to Britain as a vital manufacturing base for us."

The extra volume for the growth strategy of the Mini brand and the complexity of new model lines means that additional production capacity for Mini sales beyond Oxford's maximum capacity is needed in the medium term and the company is now considering how to achieve this.

"Our preferred option is to establish a contract manufacturer as a satellite production as close to our UK operations as possible, at the Nedcar plant in The Netherlands, with whom BMW is in discussions," explained Krueger. "Oxford will provide special Mini production expertise for any new operation, particularly in the areas of dealing with the high complexity and customer individuality which Mini demands and in operating state-of-the-art, multi-model production lines. Just as Munich is the centre of the BMW world, Oxford is and will remain the home and the heart of Mini."

18 July 2012


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