The next-generation Mini Convertible will be built at the Oxford plant, the firm’s boss has confirmed.
Stefanie Wurst said production of the Convertible will switch to Oxford from the Netherlands in its next generation in 2024 or 2025. It will be built there alongside petrol-powered versions of the upcoming three- and five-door Mini models in their next era, due to launch from November 2023.
“The Convertible is coming home,” said Wurst on the decision.
The next-generation of Minis will span six different models built on three platforms in three different factories. In Oxford, there will be petrol versions of the three-door, five-door and Convertible models. Leipzig will build electric and petrol versions of a new, bigger Mini Countryman. As part of Mini’s tie-up with Great Wall in China, there will be an electric version of the three-door hatchback and a new, larger five-door model called Aceman.
All versions built in Oxford – as well as the three-door hatch built in China – will be known as the Cooper. Although the three-door models built in Oxford and China will look identical, they will be different cars underneath. There will be no electric version of the Oxford-built five-door Cooper for China. That role will instead be indirectly filled by the larger Aceman.
Wurst confirmed the Mini One will be no more and the Cooper will instead fill the entry-level role. High-performance versions of both petrol and electric Coopers will be offered, meaning the petrol range will span Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper JCW models, and the electric version Cooper E, Cooper SE and Cooper JCW E.
The switch in this new era for Mini means the Oxford plant will lose the electric hatchbacks that it currently builds, but Wurst confirmed that electric cars will ultimately return to the factory.
“There are major investments taking place and going to take place,” she said, hinting that a mid-life facelift for the models in around 2027 will provide an opportunity for the switch to take place.