MINI, Made in Germany?
"In the longer term, given the strong growth of the Mini brand, we will have to think about a further production site. We could imagine a German factory for the production of Mini-based models," Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW head of production was quoted as saying by the Independent on Sunday.
So far, BMW has confirmed the expansion of the MINI production sites with to Magna Steyr's Graz, Austria facility, where it will build the Crossman. The German based production lines for the MINI may however not be created in the so close future.
The reason is very simple. BMW has already began contemplating adding two new more production lines at the MINI Cowley plant. The respective lines will take on the production of the MINI Coupe and, possibly, of the MINI Roadster.
In essence, with all of the three models queued for production in different sites, it is unlikely BMW will gamble and expand to Germany in the near future. However, it is all a matter of numbers and, if sales demand it, such an outcome cannot be ruled out.
"Since the re-launch, we have sold around 1.5m Minis. After record sales in 2008, Mini sales in 2009 are almost at the same level as last year. Recent months have seen positive developments in key markets such as Germany, the UK and Italy," Ian Robertson, BMW director added.