Magna May Lose Contract With BMW’s Mini Car image

Magna International, a Canadian automotive group, might lose the contract with BMW for the production of Mini cars, as the automaker wants to begin production of the model in Britain or the Netherlands.

Magna Steyr, the Graz-based contract car manufacturing subsidiary, currently manufactures the Mini Countryman SUVs and later this year the Paceman, which is a sportier coupe version of the SUV.

“We let Magna Steyr produce the Countryman and the Paceman … but in the mid-term we are looking at concentrating Mini production in two locations, namely Oxford and NedCar (in Born, Netherlands),” a spokesman for BMW said on Monday.

He also said that the plant in Born can offer improved logistics compared with Graz. Currently Mini operates an engine plant in Hams Hall, the Oxford vehicle plant and a steel pressing facility in Swindon, which has 5,500 employees. BMW’s officials declared that the company was satisfied with Magna Steyr’s production quality offered until now, and that it would like to have it as a partner in the near future too. From January to August, sales of the Mini models have risen 8.3% to 192,652 units, mainly due to the success of the Countryman SUV.