The German car maker BMW Group, which invested £500m in the UK in June 2011, has announced a further £250m investment in its manufacturing operations at its facilities in Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall, near Birmingham, by the end of 2015. As well as supporting the company’s global strategy, this will provide job security for the 5,500 UK associates working in the Mini UK Triangle plants.
BMW said that as the volume and variety of its Mini model line-up grows, there will be additional production requirements for engines and body panels from its specialist UK facilities in Hams Hall and Swindon. Part of the new investment will be allocated to develop specific production facilities to meet these requirements.
Harald Krueger, member of the board of management at BMW Group, said:
A year ago, we announced a further investment of £500m in our UK production network by 2014 and today we are announcing an additional £250m, taking us through to 2015. This brings the total to £1.75bn since 2000.
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. Plant Oxford has played a major role in this with cars being exported to over 100 countries around the world. This additional investment is great news for all our employees in the UK and shows the BMW Group’s commitment to Britain as a vital manufacturing base for us.
The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said:
BMW’s ambitious plans for Mini will ensure its UK sites at Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall remain at the centre of Mini production worldwide. The investment of £250m in addition to the £500m last year demonstrates BMW’s commitment to the UK and safeguards jobs for the future.
The Oxford plant has made such an enormous contribution to the ongoing global success of the Mini brand since the BMW Group launched the new Mini in 2001. Just as Bavaria is the centre of the BMW world, so the UK is and indeed will remain the hub and the heart of Mini.
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. 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.
BMW operates 26 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.