BMW Group, Mini's parent company, has disclosed an impressive investment north of $741 million earmarked for Mini factories in Oxford and Swindon. Milan Nedeljković, a bigwig over at BMW AG, stated that this significant cash injection would pave the way for the next generation of electric Minis and firmly establish the trajectory for future electric car manufacturing. And just for emphasis – we're not just talking about hybrid vehicles; we're talking fully electric.
Scheduled to roll out in 2026 from Oxford are two electric delights: the Mini Cooper 3-door and the compact crossover Mini Aceman. And by the time we greet 2030, Mini's production capacity at the Oxford plant will have phased out those old-school combustion engines entirely. For those keeping tabs, since the year 2000, the BMW Group's investment in their Swindon, Hams Hall, and Oxford plants will tally up to a whopping $4 billion.
The UK Government, in a refreshing display of foresight, has backed this electrifying transformation. Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch shared her enthusiasm, regarding BMW's decision as a testament to the UK economy's strength and the Government's commitment to bolstering the nation's revered automotive industry. High-quality jobs at Oxford and Swindon's facilities, including the body-pressing unit, are poised for security due to this development.
Did you know that the Oxford plant just blew out 110 candles on its birthday cake this year? An institution in its own right, it's been diligently assembling the Mini Electric since 2019. These electric models rub shoulders, or should we say door handles, with conventional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) models on the same assembly line. Stefanie Wurst, the head of the Mini brand, expressed her satisfaction, underscoring Oxford's enduring status as Mini's heart and soul. And with the Mini community's increasing penchant for electric models, Oxford's significance can only surge.
But the innovations aren’t stopping there. From 2024, the Oxford plant will usher in the next generation Mini 3-door, Mini 5-door, and even a new Mini Convertible. These models will soon be joined by the aforementioned all-electric compatriots in 2026. Factoring in both ICE and electric vehicles, Mini forecasts a production capacity of approximately 200,000 cars annually in the near future.
And speaking of future, Mini aficionados will soon witness the production commencement of the new Mini Countryman at the BMW Group plant in Leipzig. This beefed-up crossover will flaunt both electric and combustion engine versions. Furthermore, the next generation all-electric Mini Cooper 3-door and Mini Aceman production will kickstart in the far east, specifically in China's Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province, as part of a collaboration with Great Wall Motor. International enthusiasts can expect exports to commence in early 2024.