More Minis as production goes Dutch
BMW says it is to increase its total line-up of Minis to 10 distinct models, and in order to deliver on this premise, the company is conducting talks with the former Mitsubishi and Volvo plant in the Netherlands.
The BMW Group is also to commit another NZ$470 million to its British operations, where it has a Mini manufacturing base in Oxford, a sheet metal pressing plant in Swindon and an engine factory at Hams Hall near Birmingham.
With a line-up if 10 cars it was thought that BMW might move some production to Germany or Austria, but the NedCar plant in Holland would seem to be the best solution, as it's nearer to the Mini operation's headquarters and has good shipping links.
At the announcement of the Nedcar deal at the Mini plant on Oxford, England, BMW Group board member Harald Krueger said: ''Over the last 11 years, Mini has been a unique global success and the BMW Group has even greater plans for the future development of the brand.''
In order to handle the extra volume from the addition of new Mini models such as the Hatch, Clubman, Clubvan, Countryman, Coupe, Roadster, Paceman, Rocketman, Traveller and BMW admitted some time ago that it would need a new contract manufacturing site, and it looks like it will be the former Mitsubishi facility, which is in the process of ending production of its own vehicles.
''Our preferred option is to establish a contract manufacturer as a satellite production as close to our UK operations as possible, at the Nedcar plant in The Netherlands, with whom BMW is in discussions,'' explained Krueger.
''Oxford will provide special Mini production expertise for any new operation, particularly in the areas of dealing with the high complexity and customer individuality which Mini demands and in operating state-of-the-art, multi-model production lines. Just as Munich is the centre of the BMW world, Oxford is and will remain the home and the heart of Mini,'' he added.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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