The new Mini Clubman will be produced in Oxford enabling the BMW Group plant to reach record production levels in 2007, it was announced today.

Following a GBP200m investment by BMW Group between 2005 and 2007 in its Mini production triangle in the UK linking its vehicle assembly plant in Oxford, its pressings plant in Swindon and its engine plant in Hams Hall near Birmingham, production capacity is on target to exceed 200,000 vehicles this year and reach 240,000 vehicles in the medium term.

The Rt Hon Stephen Timms, MP was at BMW Group's Oxford plant for the start of production of the new Mini Clubman, along with guests from UK industry.

As production levels have risen, 200 new jobs have been created at Oxford and 250 at the Hams Hall engine plant in the past 12 months.

Oliver Zipse, managing director of BMW Group Plant Oxford, said: "The new Mini Clubman is another milestone in the Mini success story. Our 6,800 highly committed associates in the Mini production triangle plants in the UK have so far produced more than one million Minis since it was launched in 2001. With the launch of the Mini Clubman, the third Mini derivative, we are expecting new production and sales records for Mini which is great news for the UK automotive industry."

The Oxford plant received more than GBP100m to expand production capacity from the previous record level of 200,000 vehicles in 2005, Plant Swindon received GBP60m for Mini body pressings and sub-assembly technologies and Hams Hall nearly GBP30m to build a new, advanced family of petrol engines specially for Mini and previously sourced from Brazil. 

The Rt Hon Stephen Timms, MP, Minister of State for Competitiveness, said: "Today's launch is a shining example of modern British manufacturing. I am sure the new Clubman will be a great hit. The continuing success of Mini and BMW just goes to show that the UK continues to be a world leader in automotive manufacturing. This is down to our highly-skilled, highly flexible workforce and the excellence of our design engineering base."

Annual production of engines at Hams Hall will rise to over 350,000 engines this year, largely as a result of the additional Mini engines being produced alongside the existing four-cylinder petrol engines supplied for BMW models.

Sixty percent of MINI parts are now being sourced from UK-based suppliers compared to 40% in previous models.