BMW is to invest £100m in an expansion of its Mini plant in Oxford. Construction work has already started on a new 15,000sqm building that will extend the Mini bodyshop.The expansion is expected to come on line at the end of 2006, when the next-generation Mini is also due to be unveiled. It’s widely expected that Oxford’s annual production capacity will rise from today’s 190,000 cars to as much as 250,000 or more.It was revealed that BMW bosses have been investigating the possibilities of even greater expansion by the end of the decade. But moving a proportion of Mini production overseas has been ruled out for at least three years, and Minis will never be built in BMW plants.
The new Mini will have a substantially modified architecture, which is said to be more easily adaptable for creating new models. A two-seater roadster is on the agenda, along with a much-rumoured station wagon.