UK Government And BMW Paying $750 Million To Keep Mini British

Industry News / 8 Comments

The beloved Mini will still be made in Oxford, not China.

The BMW Group has announced a £600 million/$751 million investment In its Mini factories in Oxford and Swindon. The Oxford plant will be updated to produce the new three-door Mini Cooper EV, as well as the upcoming Aceman, which replaces the outgoing Clubman. The body-pressing facility in Swindon will be updated to accommodate these new models.

For now, the Cooper three-door and Aceman will be built in China at Mini and Great Wall Motors' Zhangjiagang Plant. Exports from China will begin in 2024, while Mini Plant Oxford will only start exporting EVs from 2026. If you're hesitant to buy a car from China because it might spy on you, you should be more concerned about the car you already own.

From 2024, Mini Plant Oxford will start producing the next-generation Cooper three-door and five-door with combustion engines. It will also produce the upcoming Convertible, but the updated production line will only start running at capacity in 2026.

Mini Mini

The factory will produce roughly 200,000 cars annually, with ICE and BEVs being built on the same platform. In 2030, the Oxford Plant will switch to EV-only, at which point Mini will likely switch to an all-electric brand. The plant in China was built specifically for electric models, so Mini won't have any ICE factories left.

"With this new investment, we will develop the Oxford plant for [the] production of the new generation of electric Minis and set the path for purely electric car manufacturing in the future," said Milan Nedeljkovic, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for production.

According to AutoExpress, of the $751.5 million BMW is investing, £75 million (roughly $94 million) is being paid by UK taxpayers. The UK government has made this investment to secure jobs at both plants. This news should be welcomed by the people of Swindon, who already suffered significant job losses after Honda closed its Civic plant.

Mini Mini

"BMW Group's investment is another shining example of how the UK is the best place to build cars of the future," said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. "By backing our car manufacturing industry, we are securing thousands of jobs and growing our economy right across the country."

The Tata Group played hardball with the UK government, demanding a $600 million investment to keep Jaguar Land Rover in Britain. Since then, the India-based conglomerate has announced an all-new battery gigafactory to be built in Somerset. It will cost $5 billion, but Sunak declined to say what percentage of the bill the government is footing. The important thing is that this new factory will create 4,000 jobs and will once again make the UK a big player in the global car market.

Mini Mini

"This decision is a big vote of confidence in the UK economy and the work of this Government to ensure the continued strength of our world-leading automotive sector," said Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch.

"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," said Stefanie Wurst, Head of the Mini brand.

This means that Mini's new electric products will not be eligible for President Biden's sweet tax credits, making it even harder for Mini to compete against American-made models like the next-generation Chevrolet Bolt and the upcoming Equinox.

But for a British automaker to continue being built in Britain may be more valuable to preserving the brand culture, especially in its home market; how would you feel if the next F-150 was made in Portugal?

2025 Mini Cooper Electric Hardtop Front View Mini Mini
2025 Mini Cooper Electric Hardtop Front View

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