Austrian outfit wins development and production contract for new Mini SAV
6 December 2007

The forthcoming Mini 4x4, or Mini SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle, according to BMW), will be built not in the USA but in Austria, by development, engineering and production specialists Magna Steyr.The BMW Group made the announcement this morning, to quieten rumours that it would outsource production of the compact 4x4 to the USA, which is likely to be the car’s biggest market.“The cooperation with Magna Steyr is an efficient way for The BMW Group to ensure the planned profitable growth through new model launches set out in the company’s strategic alignment,” read the firm's statement. “It will allow the lead plant for Mini production in Oxford to fully direct its midterm capacity of 260,000 units towards meeting demand for Mini, Mini Convertible and Mini Clubman.”“This solution will also allow us to bring the Mini SAV to the market as quickly as possible,” the statement explained. The BMW Group has previously stated that it’s working towards a launch date for the Mini SAV sometime in 2009.Magna Steyr already builds the X3 soft-roader for BMW. It remains to be seen whether it will also score the contract for development and production of BMW's X1 small 4x4. The 1-series range is produced out of two of BMW’s factories, in Regensburg and Leipzig, Germany, and it’s understood that, between the two, the total production demand for 1-series and X1 could be met.The Mini SAV will become the first of BMW's new breed of Minis to be built anywhere but Plant Oxford, the production site formerly owned by Rover, and original home of the Rover 75. The design of the new Mini 4x4, and the development of its powertrain, will remain completely in BMW's control.

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