Currently reading: New electric Mini models to be built in China
New BMW Group and Great Wall plant will produce Mini EVs – but Oxford will "remain the heart" of operations
James Attwood, digital editor
News
2 mins read
29 November 2019

Electric Mini models will be built at a new plant in China through a joint venture between the BMW Group and Great Wall Motor – but BMW has pledged Oxford will remain "the heart and home" of the brand’s production operation.

The German company and Chinese firm Great Wall have launched a new joint venture, Spotlight Automotive, to build and run the £555 million factory in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu province. Due to open in 2022, it will employ 3000 staff and have a capacity of up to 160,000 vehicles per year.

BMW says it will be used for “production of future electric Mini vehicles”, along with several Great Wall models, but hasn't offered specifics of the models that will be built there. The Mini Electric, due on sale early next year, will be built at Plant Oxford, and BMW said that site “will remain the heart and home of Mini manufacturing, while the Spotlight Automotive joint venture will provide additional capacity and flexibility.”

While it's likely that the new plant will focus primarily on producing Mini models for the Chinese market, likely including the Electric, it's also set to build some that will be sold worldwide.

Nicholas Peter, BMW’s finance boss, said: “This joint venture will enable us to produce a larger number of Mini-brand fully electric vehicles at attractive conditions for the world market. This is also an important strategic step for the Mini brand. The joint venture with Great Wall underlines the enormous importance of the Chinese market for us.”

The BMW Group is committed to its existing sales structure in China and will continue its BMW Brilliance joint venture. It added the new joint venture could “accelerate development of the Mini brand significantly.”

Autocar has previously reported that the Mini Rocketman is set to be revived as a compact electric car in 2022, with production taking place at the Spotlight plant.

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rare 29 November 2019

Chinese built MINI's with

Chinese built MINI's with Union Jack decals and tail lamps. It's like Polish built Fiat 500's with Italian flags on them. What a sorry sight. 

Bob Cat Brian 29 November 2019

rare wrote:

rare wrote:

Chinese built MINI's with Union Jack decals and tail lamps. It's like Polish built Fiat 500's with Italian flags on them. What a sorry sight. 

Union Jacks on anything other than flagpoles have long been vulgar and or chavvy anyway. 

si73 30 November 2019

Bob Cat Brian wrote:

Bob Cat Brian wrote:

rare wrote:

Chinese built MINI's with Union Jack decals and tail lamps. It's like Polish built Fiat 500's with Italian flags on them. What a sorry sight. 

Union Jacks on anything other than flagpoles have long been vulgar and or chavvy anyway. 

I know what you mean but why should that be? An Italian flag on a car is not in the least bit vulgar, nor is any other national flag used that way.

jagdavey 29 November 2019

After Brexit..........

Once they (BMW) get the chinese plant up & running & then discover they can build mini's there for a fraction of the cost in the UK, they'll close the Oxford plant & use Brexit as an ideal, "oven ready" excuse. There are 2 possibilities with manufacturing in the UK, the first with no Brexit the Pound would surge in value making it too expensive to produce there, secondly Brexit would incure tariffs being imposed also making it too expensive to make in the UK. Any multi-national car company would only build any new plant in a low cost country like Turkey or Eastern Europe. The reason why the French & German car plants will survive is not because they are anymore competitive, but because their is very strong union pressure there plus the very high costs of making people redundent in main land Europe. In the UK it's relatively cheap & easy to get rid of people!

Peter Cavellini 29 November 2019

What if.....

 If the Bank crisis hadn't happened and Brexit to, would the current situation have happier anyway?