To Build Electric Mini-Sources BMW Favors UK Plant


Currently, BMW’s Oxford factory in England the most favored location for building an electric version of the Mini despite Britain’s planned departure from the European Union, two sources aware of the company’s thinking told Reuters on Wednesday.

Any conclusion by the German carmaker to pledge to advance spending at Oxford would boost to the British government, which has been cautioned by businesses at home and abroad that Brexit will hit investment.

At Oxford mini makes around 60 percent of it’s approximately 360, 000 compact cars a year. But BMW (BMWG. DE) has made up a substitute manufacturing base in the Netherlands amid concerns about Britain’s suitability as an export hub after Brexit.

A BMW spokesman when asked whether the electric Mini would be built in Britain he said: “A final decision has not been taken.”

BMW has said that it has many choices about where to build the vehicle, including at a plant functioned by VDL Nedcar in Born, Netherlands, where a plug-in hybrid version of the Mini is already being in built, or a plant in Regensburg, Germany.

BMW has about 4, 600 staff working in Oxford, while VDL currently employs around 4, 500. That is set to rise to more than 5, 000 after production of the BMW X1 model is added to the Dutch plant in August, a sharp rise from only 1, 500 in the year 2012.

The vocal critics of the Brexit are the carmakers, warning that their supply chain will be hit hard by any ensuing introduction of tariffs.

But this is the fact that they also have a strong position in Europe’s second-biggest car market behind Germany, particularly if they can secure government guarantees. Japan’s Nissan said it would build two new models in October in Britain after a government initiative to pawn any hostile Brexit effects.

BMW ‘s Dingofling and Landshut plants in Bavaria, Germany will deliver an electric motor, components and a battery which will be used by the electric Mini.

One of the sources said BMW executives are looking for declarations from Britain that any import duties on electric motors and batteries send from Bavaria to Oxford could be reclaimed in full for the vehicles that are then sold in the EU.