BMW has named Frank Bachmann as the new managing director of Mini’s main manufacturing plant in Oxford, effective October 1, 2012. He will be succeeding Juergen Hedrich, who be serving in another post in the BMW Group production network. Bachmann will also be responsible for managing Mini’s body pressings operation in Swindon and engine plant at Hams Hall, near Birmingham.
Bachmann, a graduate of mechanical engineering, has been with the carmaker for 24 years and has held several senior management positions in production at BMW, including posts in Germany and South Africa. Bachman became chief of manufacturing concepts at Mini in 2001, before transferring to the BMW Group as head of assembly technology.
He was appointed to his current post as chief of future production sites in 2011. Mini’s Oxford plant currently produces five of the brand’s six models. The sixth model, the Mini Countryman, is contracted to Magna Steyr in Austria.
Mini will begin selling the seventh model, the Paceman, in the first quarter of 2013 in Europe. In June 2012, BMW disclosed that it was holdings talks to extend Mini production to Mitsubishi's NedCar plant in the Netherlands. Mini was a huge success for BMW after it resurrected the brand in 2001, as it posted a 21-percent increase in global sales volumes to reach over 285,000 cars in 2011. BMW plans to increase the Mini lineup to 10 models.