BMW Wants to Give $90 Million To Make Electric MINIs in The UK
The Cooper SE, a UK-built car, is in danger of being lost. This is because the next generation of Cooper SE will not be manufactured at the Oxfordshire plant. The small electric hatchback will instead be...
The time is running out for the Cooper SE, a UK-built car. This is because the next generation of Cooper SE will not be manufactured at the Oxfordshire plant. The Spotlight Automotive joint venture between BMW Group and Great Wall Motors will see the small electric hatchback being redesigned in China. This tie-up also includes a production version the Aceman concept. It will not be built in Cowley, but will bear the "made in China” label.
Although a fully-electric version of the Countryman's next-gen model has been confirmed, it will not be built in the UK. BMW plans to build the zero-emission crossover in Leipzig in Germany in the latter part of 2023.
What does this mean for the Oxford plant when it comes to EV manufacturing? It's a good question, considering MINI has promised to become purely electric by the 2030s.
Sky News reports that BMW Group will continue to make MINI-branded electric cars, despite having to outsource production of its upcoming two EVs. The UK's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been in talks with MINI's parent company regarding a possible PS75-million funding package. At the current exchange rate, this amounts to approximately $90.4M or EUR84M. If all goes according to plan, the deal may be completed in the next few weeks.
Around 80% of vehicles made by the Oxford workforce of 4,000 people are exported to the UK. Over three million MINIs have been produced since 2001 when the modern MINI was first introduced. The site produces more than 1,000 cars per day.
The BMW Group has already announced plans for the next-generation MINI Convertible to be built in the UK. The current model is being assembled in The Netherlands by VDL Nedcar. The replacement model is expected to arrive around the middle of next decade.