MINI has confirmed that it will build an electric car in the UK, supporting the announcement made at the F56’s launch that it would continue to ‘invest substantially in Cowley’ and other British manufacturing installations. The new car, which is set for launch in 2019, will be an e-version of the current MINI in facelifted form.
The news flies in the face of those who have criticised the UK’s decision to vote for Brexit in 2016, on the grounds that manufacturers would pull out of Britain. Politicians were quick to jump on the decision, with Business Secretary Greg Clark stating it’s a ‘landmark decision’ and ‘vote of confidence’ in the UK.
Why BMW chose the UK
BMW has been subjected to months of lobbying by the UK Government, and supports the workforce at Cowley, which has done such a sterling job in assembling the MINI. Sadly, the electric motors will be imported from Germany, but this means that there will be few changes made to the UK assembly line at Cowley in Oxfordshire.
BMW now makes electric motors and battery packs for all of its electric cars at two sites in Germany, Dingolfing and Landshut, while the current hybrid MINI Countryman is made in Holland.
The UK Government is said to be having similar discussions with the PSA Group over its management of Vauxhall – with Ellesmere Port being touted as a centre of battery excellence, or even as a factory for Jaguar Land Rover, which may struggle for capacity in the UK as it heads towards its goal of making a million cars a year.