Extended engine agreement with Peugeot Citroen paints uncertain future for BMW's Brit engine plant
19 December 2006

BMW and Peugeot-Citroen have announced a plan to extend the agreement that produced the excellent 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engines (right) for the new Mini and 207, but it spells an uncertain future for BMW’s British engine plant at Hams Hall. A joint press release was issued on behalf of BMW and PSA Peugeot-Citroen yesterday announcing their intention to extend the companies’ collaboration on engine production beyond the 1.6-litre turbo it has currently created – presumably to include larger four-cylinder direct-injection engines for the planned Mini Traveller, the mooted Mini 4x4, and possibly even BMW’s lower-end 1- and 3-series models. This puts BMW’s Hams Hall plant, which currently has the monopoly on supply of four-cylinder petrol engines to BMW plants worldwide, in a precarious position; if BMW intends its small block petrol engines to be made elsewhere in future, up to 1500 jobs at Hams Hall could be under threat. No one at BMW UK was available to comment or elaborate on the news when Autocar requested more information yesterday; expect a more thorough analysis on the announcement in due course.

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