BMW Group investing £750 million to upgrade UK Mini plants

Article by Anita Panait, on November 25, 2013

BMW Group is investing £750 million between 2012 and 2015 to upgrade and reequip three of its manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom, where it will jumpstart the production of the new 2014 Mini. The group’s Swindon site is taking care of the most of the pressings and sub-assemblies for the 2014 Mini while the Oxford site is responsible for the vehicle’s assembly.

The engine is being manufactured at BMW Group’s engine plant in Ham Hall. The 2014 Mini will be underpinned by a highly flexible new platform family within the BMW Group. Through this new architecture, the body manufacturing process has become more flexible, allowing for more to be produced more efficiently.

BMW’s investments on the plants include a new 1000-robot body shop in Oxford and various new body-in-white technologies in Swindon. BMW is also equipping its Hams Hall engine plant for a new generation of modular power units that will be built at several locations. The group’s Birmingham plant will supply crankshafts to all those factories.

Harald Krüger, member of the BMW Group Board of Management, remarked that in Oxford plant’s centenary year, they are continuing the MINI brand success story by commencing production of the new generation Mini. Krüger said that £750 million investment highlights the importance of the Mini production triangle within its global production network. He said that the UK is the “heart” of Mini production.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the BMW Group Board of Management, remarked that the Mini brand “represents the marriage of innovation and tradition.” He said that the new Mini generation will rekindle enthusiasm for the car.  Plant Oxford, which is celebrating 100 years of carmaking, is getting the lion’s share of the £750 million investment, which includes a new state-of-the-art bodyshop and upgrades to its quality validation processes as well as a series of initiatives cutting its carbon footprint and improving its waste management processes.

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Topics: bmw, mini, plant, investment

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