BMW plans to invest £250 million to increase Mini’s production capacity in the United Kingdom as the German carmaker aims to increase the brand’s line-up from the current six variants to 10 vehicles. The company announced that the investment in 2015 will be made to support the Mini brand’s growth strategy.
Part of the investment will be distributed to plants such as Mini’s production plant in Oxford, BMW's steel body pressings operation at Swindon and at the company's engine plant at Hams Hall near Birmingham. BMW also plans to boost the brand’s production capacity at a new contract manufacturing plant possibly in the Netherlands.
According to Harald Krueger, a BMW board member responsible for Mini, the carmaker’s plans for the brand are concentrated on two production locations in the UK and in the Netherlands. In June, BMW disclosed it was mulling building vehicles at Mitsubishi's NedCar plant in the Netherlands as the Japanese carmaker is terminating production at the site by the end of 2012.
Krueger divulged that BMW prefers to establish a contract manufacturer as a satellite production as close as possible to Mini's UK operations. Krueger noted that Nedcar's proximity to the UK would offer significant benefits to BMW in terms of logistics.
Krueger remarked that BMW will still cooperate with contract manufacturer Magna Steyr, which produces the Mini Countryman at its Graz site in Austria. Mini posted a 7-percent increase in global sales volumes in the first half of 2012 to 151,875 units, thanks to the strong demand for the new Countryman and growth in the United States and China.