New BMW Group and Great Wall plant will produce Mini EVs – but Oxford will "remain the heart" of operations
James Attwood, digital editor
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.”

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Comments
14

29 November 2019

Not forgetting the plant in the Netherlands, where work is being increasingly moved to due to Brexit.

 

There's now more people building Minis in the Netherlands than there is in Oxford.

 

29 November 2019
Symanski wrote:

There's now more people building Minis in the Netherlands than there is in Oxford.

How many more (include designers, engineers etc)

29 November 2019
Symanski wrote:

Not forgetting the plant in the Netherlands, where work is being increasingly moved to due to Brexit.

Not as big a increase as when the decision was made to start moving production of the MINI, in Feb 2014 over 2 years before the vote, what was the reason then?  Fat lot of good the EU were then, or for that matter when FORD moved ALL car and van production out of the UK?

 

29 November 2019
Symanski wrote:

Not forgetting the plant in the Netherlands, where work is being increasingly moved to due to Brexit.

 

There's now more people building Minis in the Netherlands than there is in Oxford.

 

 

If you don't understand how it all works (and clearly you don't) then it's best you stay quiet, lest you further embarass yourself.

29 November 2019
Luap wrote:

If you don't understand how it all works (and clearly you don't) then it's best you stay quiet, lest you further embarass yourself.

 

Please do explain "how it all works".   Please educate us with your vast wisdom on this subject so we will all know how it all works.

 

30 November 2019

They'll be making tea in china next.

2 December 2019
Symanski wrote:

Not forgetting the plant in the Netherlands, where work is being increasingly moved to due to Brexit.

 

There's now more people building Minis in the Netherlands than there is in Oxford.

 

Oxford doesn't have the capacity to expands. And the UK operations are more than Oxford, Hams Hall engines and Swindon pressings supply the Netherlands assembly plant

29 November 2019

Will they still have union jack tail lights?

29 November 2019

Will they still have union jack tail lights?

I hope not.

29 November 2019

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

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