BMW Group said that it doesn’t intend to take over Mitsubishi's plant in the Netherlands to produce cars for its quickly growing Mini brand. Media reports in the country implied that BMW had expressed interest in making Mini cars at Mitsubishi’s NedCar plant. The reports imply that this matter was discussed when BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer had a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte last January.
BMW said that the BMW Group doesn’t plan to have a takeover or an alliance with the Nedcar plant in the Netherlands. BMW said that it doesn’t require extra capacity for Mini even if it is increasing Mini's lineup to increase sales of the British-based brand.
In 2011, the Mini sales increased by 21.7% to 285,060 units and its goal for 2012 is 300,000 units. Automotive News Europe spoke to a BMW spokeswoman who said that a 200,000-capacity plant such as that of NedCar "makes no sense in our current development plans.” She added that Mini has sufficient capacity at its Oxford factory in England, and at Magna Steyr in Austria, which produces the Mini Countryman.
Last Monday, Mitsubishi said that it will halt production at Nedcar, its lone western European plant, at the end of 2012. This plant produces the Colt subcompact and the Outlander SUV and has an annual output of 200,000 units. According to a company spokesman, the automaker is mulling options for the plant after 2013. The factory can opt to carry out contract manufacturing.
The spokesman has yet to comment on reports that it is agreeable to selling the factory for a symbolic 1 euro. Ford Motor Co. said that it may hire a portion of NedCar's 1,500 workers after Mitsubishi winds down production. In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Jo Declercq, the spokesman for Ford's Belgian Genk factory, said that it started informal talks to see if it could take over personnel.