The majority of the investment will be used to create new production facilities and equipment at MINI Plant Oxford, and will help to safeguard over 5,000 jobs in the MINI vehicle assembly plant in Oxford, the pressings plant in Swindon and the company’s engine plant at Hams Hall near Birmingham.
BMW Group’s strategy is that the location of production is linked to the large markets for its products. The UK is the BMW Group’s fourth-largest single market in the world for sales, behind only Germany, the US and China, with sales in 2010 across the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands totalling 154,750.
As part of the expansion of the MINI product line-up, the MINI Coupe will be launched in 2011, followed by the MINI Roadster in 2012 – both of which will be produced in Oxford.
“We have started preparing our UK plants for production of the next generation MINI and this investment underlines that the UK will remain the heart of MINI production,” stated Reithofer. “The MINI brand has made a significant contribution to BMW Group’s success in markets around the world and we anticipate that this will grow further in the future.”
A similar announcement was made yesterday by Nissan’s President and CEO Carlos Ghosn, who announced they have decided to make the UK responsible with the design, development and production of the next version of the Qashqai.