BMW keeps the electric Mini in its birthplace Oxford

After an earlier decision from last year to move the new generation of the electric Mini to China, BMW is making a U-turn. The German carmaker announces a crucial investment that keeps production in Oxford, the birthplace of the famed Mini, for the future zero-emission generation.

Brexit hasn’t done any favors for Britain’s car industry, but at least one of its true icons is rescued. The plant in Oxford will assemble the latest generation of the zero-emission Mini Cooper, unveiled in its final version at the IAA Mobility in Münich last week. It means the factory will be prepared for BMW’s net-zero business of tomorrow.

Also for Aceman

As of 2026, the new cross-over Aceman, built on the same architecture and technology as the three-door, will join. Production of the current generation Mini’s continues, but as of 2030, only electric cars will leave the factory hall. The factory is not without experience in manufacturing battery-powered vehicles. Since 2019, the first all-electric Mini was produced there.

BMW injects 600 million pounds or approximately 700 million euros to upgrade the Oxford plant. This secures the jobs of 4 000 people working at the plant, while the maximum capacity is 200 000 units per year. Only one-fifth of its manufactured vehicles end up on the UK market. Board Member for Production at BMW AG Milan Nedeljkovic called the decision a “path for purely electric car manufacturing in the future.”

That future also stood a viable chance in Asia because the new generation of the zero-emission Mini builds upon the Spotlight platform, a joint venture between Chinese partner Great Wall Motors and BMW. Chinese production was also the initial plan, but the UK government persuaded the German maker with a supplementary subsidy, of which the exact amount remains undisclosed.

Pat on the back

BMW’s continuation is a pat on the back for the UK officials, as its battery business faced dire times. After the collapse of its domestic gigafactory from Britishvolt, Stellantis halted production at Ellesmere Port and threatened to abandon the production of its e-vans because of Brexit complexity – purchasing goods and materials has become too expensive.

The government has succeeded in persuading the CEO of Stellantis, Carlos Tavares, who announced that Ellesmere Port will be manufacturing the e-vans from the car giant. There are 800 000 people at work in the UK’s automotive industry.


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