News : Confirmed – MINI Electric will be built in the UK

Dr Milan Nedeljković, The Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP and Dr Markus Grüneisl
Dr Milan Nedeljković, The Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP and Dr Markus Grüneisl

Continued UK production of the MINI has been confirmed – parent company BMW will invest £600m in the company’s firm’s factory in Cowley. The plant will begin production of the recently announced MINI Cooper E and SE as well as the forthcoming electric MINI Aceman in 2026, after the UK Government pledged to spend about £75m in subsidies.

Cowley currently produces the MINI three- and five-door as well as the Clubman and Electric. From 2024, the plant will start producing the next generation MINIs with combustion engines, as well as the new Convertible, before being joined by the new all-electric vehicles once the planned investment has been completed.

Originally, it looked like the MINI Electric production would be leaving these shores following an announcement from BMW, so this would be a significant – and welcome – U-turn by the German carmaker.

The move will secure around 4000 jobs at Cowley and Swindon, where BMW makes body panels. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, said BMW’s investment was, ‘a huge vote of confidence in this country as a global leader in electric vehicles.’

Stefanie Wurst, Head of the MINI brand, said, ‘MINI has always been aware of its history – Oxford is and remains the heart of the brand. I am delighted that the two new, fully electric MINI models – the MINI Cooper and MINI Aceman – are also being produced in Oxford, thereby confirming our path to a fully electric future. The continuing high demand for our locally emission-free vehicles shows the openness of the global MINI community to electromobility, which we will be able to serve optimally, also thanks to Oxford.’

However, as The Guardian reports, BMW’s announcement comes even though there remains uncertainty over whether UK-made electric cars will be subject to EU tariffs, and vice versa, from 1 January 2024 because of rules that require batteries to be sourced from the UK or the EU.

Carmakers have been lobbying the EU to move back the start date for the rules to avoid adding costs to European-built electric cars, just at the point when the Chinese manufacturers are pushing into Europe with a new wave of keenly-priced products.

Keith Adams

15 Comments

  1. I think the big announcements that the US, Canada and now the Netherlands are restricting chip exports to China may have forced BMW’s hand. It’s good news for UK jobs, along with Nissan and Ford’s recent investment news, but this was tinged with Dunton being scaled back further.

  2. Good news and it means thousands of jobs in Oxford are more secure. The Mini has been a huge success for Plant Oxford( Cowley to older people on here) and a sign of how far this once troubled factory has come since the eighties.

  3. Indeed this looks like good news. Quite a turnaround from the recent discussions on here about Mini electric production moving away from Oxford. Obvious question about battery supply but if the demand is there then perhaps the supply will follow.

  4. Great news. I have the current model on order and I’m looking forward to delivery in a few weeks after a long wait!

  5. Moving production of the next electric Mini to China was never going to mean that all electric Minis forever would come from China.

    It was always the plan that Cowley would also produce electric Minis when production shifted away from the ICE versions, or in the worst case scenario somewhere else in Europe.

  6. The Mini is also selling well in Europe. It’s best seller in Belgium and also does well in Germany in top ten Netherlands and Switzerland. Even in France it’s almost in the top 20. It’s doing as well as the original at its peak.

  7. This is really great news.

    Whatever the underlying geopolitical situation we need to remember that the UK can and does make some great things and can manufacture well. Long may it continue (and hopefully grow).

    Let’s seem more investment in the UK car and manufacturing sectors by both government and business

  8. with the government implementing carbon capture and both re-licensing north sea oil fields and considering proposals to open new ones maybe the ICE Minis will be with us for some time

    • I’ve heard the North Sea oil fields were run down due to Russian oil being easier to source, something that now isn’t the case!

  9. Good news for Plant Oxford, as the next generation of electric Minis will be built at the factory. After the closure of Honda and Ford’s engine plant in Bridgend and the Britishvolt fiasco, it seems a period of uncertainty in the British car industry has ended. Adding to the good news for Mini, JLR will build a battery plant in Bridgwater, creating 4000 jobs, Ford is to expand production of electric vehicle transmissions in Halewood, and the once threatened Vauxhall factory in Ellesmere Port has been moved over to producing small electric vans and an electric Citroen Berlingo.

  10. The crass stupidity of Brexit was and remains that this and any number of other businesses were put at risk at all. The long term future still does not look good, the Germans who own much of our industry missed the boat somewhat over EVs and if not the Chinese, then the friendly Koreans are waiting, when things are cut then it’s high cost, high risk first. That’ll mean us.

  11. Nissan has announced electric versions of the Qashqai and Juke will be produced in Sunderland, safeguarding 7000 jobs, and the decision by JLR to build an electric battery factory in Bridgwater, means the British car industry is in a better place than two years ago with the closure of Honda and uncertainty among other manufacturers.
    What I would like to see is the factory in Blyth, which is in limbo after the collapse of Britishvolt, brought to life. Being near a joint Chinese and Nissan battery plant in Sunderland, it would be an ideal place for MG to build its proposed European car factory. MG is one of the fastest growing car brands in the UK, it has left behind products like the MG6, and is one of the biggest producers of electric cars in the world.

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