BMW announced today that it will build its next generation MINI in Britain in a move that will help safeguard more than 5,000 jobs.
The company said it would be investing another £500 million in UK automotive manufacturing in what Prime Minister David Cameron said was a “tremendous vote of confidence” in the workforce.
There will be investment in new facilities and equipment at the MINI assembly base in Oxford, the pressings plant in Swindon and engine plant at Hams Hall.
The news from BMW came as the Prime Minister prepared to meet the Board of Directors of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) in Downing Street this morning.
Mr Cameron said, “The production and export of iconic British cars like the MINI is making a real contribution to the rebalancing of the economy that this government is determined to achieve.
“It’s a tremendous vote of confidence in the skills and capabilities of the company’s British workforce and in the future of UK manufacturing.”
The new MINI coupe is to be launched in 2011 and the MINI Roadster in 2012. Both are to be produced in Oxford, where more than 2 million MINI cars have been built since 2001 – three-quarters of them for export.
The Prime Minister’s meeting with ACEA comes ahead of its annual meeting, which is to be held for the first time in the UK at SMMT in London.
For more detail on the scale and significance of UK automotive, download the 2011 Motor Industry Facts publication.