BMW to move production of electric Mini from Oxford to China
BMW Group has stated it will move production of its electric Mini from Oxford to China.
The German automotive behemoth has indicated that manufacturing of its hatchback and small SUV electric Minis are to be moved to China, while its electric Countryman model will be built in Leipzig, Germany.
It has said it's Cowley site will build the Mini Cooper three-door and five-door Hatch models, and the Mini Convertible will be built at Plant Oxford from 2025.
The BMW Group, acquired the Oxford plant in 1994 and relaunched the brand in 2001 with the debut of the new MINI Hatch.
Since then more than four million Minis have been produced in Oxford.
The 2001 Mini launch was the reinvention of a British motoring icon, which generated headlines around the world. As well as making the news, the car was subsequently recognised with several industry awards after it went on sale.
Three UK plants have had a part to play in Mini production - Hams Hall near Birmingham makes engines, Swindon produces body pressings and sub-assemblies, and this all comes together at Oxford with body shell production, paint and final assembly. Together these plants have helped to generate and sustain employment for thousands of people directly and indirectly though the wider supply chain and retailers.
BMW currently makes 40,000 electric Minis a year at its Cowley factory.
According to The Times newspaper, Stefanie Wurst, who took over as the new head of Mini. in February this year, said: “Oxford will always be the home of Mini.” She said the decision to halt the electric Mini assembly in the UK was because the Cowley plant was running inefficiently by having to produce electric and petrol cars on the same line.