BMW will produce the new Mini in the Netherlands starting this summer as it tries to expand output capacity from its Oxford site in England. While the United Kingdom would still be the main manufacturing base for the Mini, output of the Mini hatchback model would be split between Oxford and a Born facility in Netherlands that is operated by contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar.
BMW expects Mini output at Born to reach a five-digit figure in 2014, with around 1,500 workers focusing on assembling the new Mini. Harald Krueger, BMW's head of production, said in a statement that the Mini brand is showing substantial growth, which is the main reason for additional, external production capacity. The Mini plant in Oxford builds around 260,000 units annually in the medium term.
BMW Group is further diversifying output of the Mini as part of a strategy to achieve a sales target of over 2 million vehicles by 2016. BMW already has an output deal with MSF in Graz, Austria where it produced 125,559 Mini Countryman and MINI Paceman models in 2013.
BMW produced 303,177 Mini vehicles in 2013, with 175,986 versions of the Mini Hatch, Convertible, Clubman, Clubvan, Roadster and Coupe models built in Oxford. BMW disclosed that staff at VDL Nedcar staff is undergoing training on the BMW Group production system at the BMW site in Leipzig, Oxford and Regensburgd.
“Contract production is a vital flexibility tool for us, and our experience gathered over the past ten years has been nothing but positive. Splitting production of the new MINI Hatch between Oxford and Born will give our global production network additional leeway. We appreciate the reliable, open and trustful cooperation with our Dutch partner, VDL Nedcar,” stated Dr. Klaus Draeger during the plant visit in Born. [source: MINI]