The future looks bright for the Mini brand as parent company BMW is aiming to increase its model lineup to 10 vehicles in the mid-term and for this reason, the Bavarian group has officially announced a new investment in its UK operations while also looking to complete a deal to produce cars at Mitsubishi's NedCar plant in Holland.
The BMW Group said it will invest a further £250 million (US$388 million or €314 million) at its manufacturing plant in Oxford, steel body pressings operation at Swindon and engine plant at Hams Hall near Birmingham, which comes on top of the £500m (US$777 million or €628 million) UK investment announced in June 2011
"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," said BMW Group board member Harald Krueger.
In order to handle the extra volume from the addition of new Mini models such as the Countryman coupe / Paceman and the Traveller small minivan, the BMW Group said that it will need a new contract manufacturing site, which it says will likely be the Mitsubishi facility in the Netherlands.
"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," he added.