BMW will invest £500m into UK production locations for the next-gen Mini
9 June 2011

Mini models based on a new-generation front-drive platform will be built in Britain after BMW announced £500m of investment at Oxford.

Mini still hasn’t officially confirmed that the next-gen hatchback Mini will be built in Oxford, but well-placed sources indicate that it will. And BMW boss Norbert Reithofer said up to 10 Mini variants will be built off the new UKL1 platform, which will also underpin a range of front-drive BMWs.

 

The distinction between the new and current platform is important because the Mini range is expanding to eight models. Three new models — coupe, roadster and city-Mini — will be based on the current platform and built at Oxford.

Because the Mini’s front-drive platform will be shared with a new BMW hatch, fears had surfaced that Mini models on the new platform might make more sense to be built in Germany.

 

However, BMW has confirmed that the bulk of the £500m will be allocated to a new body-in-white facility at Oxford to assemble models on the new platform, a strong indication that the new Mini hatch will be built at Oxford.

Some of the investment will be allocated to the Swindon pressing plant and Hams Hall, where it will buy new component machining facilities.

It’s widely expected that there could eventually be up to 20 individual BMW and Mini-badged models, including small roadsters, built off the UKL1.

The platform will use MacPherson struts up front and BMW’s signature Z-axle at the rear. Four-wheel drive will also be offered, opening the way for a small BMW SUV slightly larger than today’s Mini Countryman.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run