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BMW will invest $750 million to continue Mini production in Oxford.

(Qnnflash) — On Monday, BMW made an official announcement regarding its plan to allocate £600 million ($750 million) for the development of two further electric variants of the Mini in the United Kingdom.

The three-door Mini Cooper and the compact crossover Mini Aceman will start production at BMW’s Oxford and Swindon facilities in 2026, according to a statement from the company. These manufacturing sites are preparing to exclusively produce electric vehicles by the end of the decade.

According to the Department for Business and Commerce of the United Kingdom on Monday, BMW (BMWYY), the parent company of the Mini brand since 1994, has received a sizeable financial investment from the UK government to aid in the advancement of its facilities. The department’s representative refrained from disclosing an exact numerical value, citing the need to protect business sensibilities.

The German automaker’s commitment will ensure the long-term viability of Mini manufacturing in Oxford, the location of the original iconic iteration of the compact vehicle over 60 years ago. Furthermore, it seems to indicate a reevaluation of strategic approaches. Approximately one year ago, BMW informed the Times newspaper of its intention to relocate the whole manufacture of Mini vehicles from Oxford to China, citing efficiency as the primary motive for this decision.

According to Stefanie Wurst, the head of the Mini brand at BMW, it is evident that Mini has consistently recognized and acknowledged its historical significance, with Oxford serving as the central hub for the brand. This statement was made on Monday.

BMW plans to continue manufacturing its existing models in a newly established facility in China through its collaborative partnership with Great Wall Motor (GWLLF). The company anticipates commencing exports from this factory in 2024. The production of the new Mini Countryman will take place in a manufacturing facility located in Leipzig, Germany.

The shares of BMW had a 1.3% increase subsequent to the release of reports regarding a recent investment made in the United Kingdom.

Government assistance

The allocation of money by the UK government is a strategic measure aimed at protecting the employment of about 4,000 individuals employed in the Oxford and Swindon facilities. Additionally, this initiative serves as a broader endeavor to incentivize multinational automobile manufacturers to establish production facilities for electric vehicles (EVs) and their associated components within the United Kingdom.

In July, Tata Group, an Indian conglomerate, announced its intention to invest £4 billion ($5 billion) in the establishment of a new “gigafactory” in the United Kingdom. The primary objective of this facility is to provide batteries for electric vehicles manufactured by its subsidiary, Jaguar Land Rover, as well as other automakers based in the UK and Europe.

In a note published on Monday, Susannah Streeter, the head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, expressed growing concerns regarding the inadequate infrastructure in the United Kingdom for electric vehicle (EV) battery production. Streeter also acknowledged that government funding played a significant role in securing the recent BMW contract.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, expressed his support for the country’s vehicle manufacturing industry, emphasizing its significance in terms of job creation and economic growth throughout the nation.

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