The iconic British car brand MINI is set to go from strength to strength with the addition of fully electric car joining the line-up. Today BMW confirmed the new car would be assembled in Cowley, near Oxford, ending months of uncertainty.
Greg Clark, UK Government Business Secretary commented:
This landmark decision is a vote of confidence in the determination of our Industrial Strategy to make Britain the go-to place in the world for the next generation of vehicles.
BMW‘s decision recognises the strength of the excellent workforce, our record of innovation and the productive relationship between the automotive sector and the Government.
The automotive industry is a great British success story and the Mini is a big part of that. UK car production hit a 10-year high last year, with 1.7 million cars made and over 800,000 people employed across the wider industry.
We want to see the sector continue to innovate and grow here in the UK, supported by initiatives such as the new battery institute as part of our Industrial Strategy.
The new 3 door model will begin production in 2019, increasing the choice of MINI powertrains to include petrol and diesel internal combustion engines, a plug-in hybrid and a battery electric vehicle. The pure EV MINI’s electric drivetrain will be built at the BMW Group’s e-mobility centre in Dingolfing and Landshut in Bavaria before being integrated into the car at Oxford, which is the main production location for the MINI 3-door Hatch.
The new, fully-electric MINI is one of a series of electrified models to be launched by the BMW and MINI brands in the coming years. In 2018, the BMW i8 Roadster will become the newest member of the BMW i family. The all-electric BMW X3 has been announced for 2020, and the BMW iNEXT is due in 2021. Most recently the MINI brand gained a plug-in hybrid option in the form of the Countryman S E.
The BMW Group has benefited from being an early electric pioneer with a large scale electric vehicle trial that began world-wide in 2008 with the first MINI E. Knowledge gained from this project played a crucial role in the subsequent development of the BMW i3 and BMW i8, technology pioneers which themselves informed the company’s current range of plug-in hybrid vehicles.