Mini’s new range of electric cars will be built in China and Germany, rather than at the brand’s spiritual home in the UK.
A report for The Times revealed the production of electric vehicles at the Cowley plant in Oxford, UK, will end in 2023.
The as-yet unrevealed Aceman, which will be smaller than the current Countryman SUV, will also be built in China as part of BMW’s joint venture with Great Wall Motor.
Manufacturing will continue in Oxford, however. Mini has confirmed it’ll keep building internal-combustion models in the UK, and has previously said petrol power will live on in its range until 2030.
“Oxford will always be the home of Mini,” a spokesperson told The Times. 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.
“Oxford is not geared up for electric vehicles,” the spokesperson said. “It will need renovation and investment.”
The Times reports the spokesperson provided “no date” for EV manufacturing to return the UK.
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
The next Mini hatch, the core model for the brand and the most recognisable shape in the range, will be offered with a choice of petrol or pure-electric power when it launches.
It’s not clear whether both cars will be built on the same platform. It’s likely the petrol-powered car will be built on the BMW FAAR platform, a development of the UKL platform used under the current range.
These official BMW images reveal the electric Mini Hatch will have tiny overhangs and a more steeply-raked windscreen than the current car.