BMW will build the new Mini Electric in China, and the new Countryman in Germany, but it’s not ready to say cheerio to Mini’s spiritual home in the UK just yet.
Sky News reports BMW is gearing up to announce an investment worth close £500 million ($907m) in the Oxford, UK plant, around £75m ($136m) of which will come from the UK Government’s Automotive Transformation Fund.
Speaking with Sky News, a BMW spokesperson said for the “next Mini generation, Oxford will produce the majority of Mini models”.
However that next-generation isn’t one of the all-new Mini models recently teased, but instead a heavy facelift of the car currently on sale. Rather than pure-electric power, it’s expected to feature updated versions of the current petrol engines.
It’s not clear if this reported investment will be focused on getting Oxford ready for next-generation electric vehicles, or if it will be shorter-term than that.
Previously, a BMW spokesperson has told The Times that “Oxford will always be the home of Mini”.
The spokesperson said electric Minis built in the UK would need to be made on an assembly line developed by GWM, in place of the existing production lines.
Given Mini is phasing out petrol power by 2030, something will need to change at Oxford for it to live beyond that point.
Mini will take its first steps toward a new, electric-dominated range in 2023.
Based on the latest information from Mini, its next-generation model rollout will include the following cars:
- The classic 3-Door Hatch, available with petrol and electric power. It’s expected to be smaller than the current car
- The Countryman SUV, grown up to take on the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA and with petrol and electric power
- A new SUV to slot between the 3-Door Hatch and Countryman, called the Aceman
- Another premium compact car in an as-yet unrevealed segment, potentially based on the Vision Urbanaut
- A new Convertible, due in 2025