While production of the new Mini Hatch is in full swing at the UK-based carmaker’s main plant in Oxford, BMW today announced that manufacturing of Mini’s core model will begin this summer in the Netherlands as well.
Contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar will build the third-generation Mini Hatch at the former Mitsubishi plant in Born, making Mini the only automaker that has series production vehicles built through a contract production in Holland.
BMW says it chose Born because of the plant’s proximity to the UK, which will help with logistics.
“Contract production is a vital flexibility tool for us, and our experience gathered over the past ten years has been nothing but positive,” said Dr. Klaus Draeger, BMW AG’s Board Member Purchasing and Supplier Network. “Splitting production of the new Mini Hatch between Oxford and Born will give our global production network additional leeway. We appreciate the reliable, open and trustful cooperation with our Dutch partner, VDL Nedcar.”
The BMW Group is currently expanding its overall production capacity in order to achieve the sales target of over two million vehicles by 2016.
“The Mini brand is showing substantial growth. This is why we need additional, external production capacity on top of the capacity of the MINI plant in Oxford which stands at about 260,000 units per year in the medium term,” explained BMW AG’s head of production Harald Krüger.
Around 1,500 people will build the new Mini at the Born plant, with BMW hoping this year’s production will “already reach a five-digit range.” In 2013, Mini produced 303,177 vehicles.
By Dan Mihalascu