BMW is aiming to expand Mini’s line-up from its current six models to up to ten 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.
BMW will invest 250 million pounds ($388 million) over the next three years to ensure its engine plant in Hams Hall in the West Midlands and the steel pressing facility in Swindon in south-west England can produce additional motors and car body panels.
The investment will safeguard the 5,500 jobs at BMW’s three UK Mini plants, but no new jobs are expected.
The moves were welcomed by Prime Minister David Cameron and Business Secretary Vince cable as a vote of confidence in Britain.
But behind the UK investment it also slipped out that it was to build MINIs abroad with a ‘contract manufacturer’ at the Nedcar plant in The Netherlands to help cope with booming demand and lack of capacity in the medium term.
Since reviving the Mini brand a decade ago, BMW has expanded its line-up to include several model variants, including a cabriolet, coupe and SUV.
“Over the last 11 years, Mini has been a unique global success, and the BMW group has even greater plans for the future development of the brand,” Harald Krueger, a BMW board member, said in a media release.