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Jobs boost for Swindon as BMW confirms £600 million Mini plant investment

BMW has confirmed that a new generation of electric Minis will be built at its plant in Oxford – securing 600 jobs in Swindon where car panels are built.

The German car manufacturer is to spend £600 million upgrading its factory in Cowley, Oxford to electric production.

The plant will build the electric Mini Cooper and the new electric Mini Aceman crossover SUV.

By 2030 production will be exclusively electric and the BMW Group will have spent over £3 billion on its Swindon, Hams Hall and Oxford plants since 2000, the company said.

The UK government offered £75 million in subsidies to secure the investment.

The deal will secure 4,000 jobs in Oxford and Swindon.

Milan Nedeljković, member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for production, said: “With this new investment we will develop the Oxford plant for production of the new generation of electric Minis and set the path for purely electric car manufacturing in the future,”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said “BMW Group’s investment is another shining example of how the UK is the best place to build cars of the future.

“By backing our car manufacturing industry, we are securing thousands of jobs and growing our economy right across the country.”

Business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch said, “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.

“We are proud to be able to support BMW Group’s investment, which will secure high-quality jobs, strengthen our supply chains, and boost Britain’s economic growth.”

The Oxford plant celebrated its 110th anniversary this year and has been successfully producing the current Mini Electric since 2019, where it is fully integrated into the production line with the conventional models.

Last year BMW announced it was moving production of the electric Mini to China – so today’s announcement was something of a U-turn for the firm.

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 in the future, also thanks to Oxford.”

Additional logistics facilities will now be built on both the Oxford and Swindon sites.

“I am proud to say that our Oxford and Swindon plants will play a central role in the BMW Group’s transition to electromobility,” said Markus Grüneisl, CEO of Plants Oxford and Swindon.

“We are determined to continue the historic success story of our plants, producing the most loved British car brand.”

The Swindon plant was opened in 1955 by Pressed Steel as an overflow from the Oxford site. Around 600 associates work on three blanking and 12 press lines.

Pictured: Business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch (centre) with BMW Mini workers making the announcement in Oxford today

Inset: The BMW Mini body plant in Swindon

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