DETROIT: MINI to spread more production outside UK
The problem is that as the family grows it is running out of space at home.
Plant Oxford, as BMW calls it, on what remains of the the former Morris/British Leyland/Rover Group Cowley site, is close to full capacity and there is no more room to expand, said Harald Kruger, the BMW executive in charge of both MINI and Rolls-Royce.
Production of some models will be moved later this year to contract assembler Nedcar in Holland, which has plenty of spare capacity.
Kruger said: "We have not decided yet which models we will produce in Holland but we definitely need the additional production capacity."
The Dutch plant, originally built by DAF, has produced Volvo and Mitsubishi cars in the past but faced an uncertain future after the Japanese company's recent decision to pull out - selling the plant for EUR1 - but now BMW has stepped in.
MINI already has other contract production outside the UK at Magna Steyr in Austria which builds the Countryman and new Paceman.
Kruger said the brand will continue to use contract assemblers to make up production volume.
"It gives us the necessary flexibility to increase or decrease production and move model lines around if necessary," he added. "It also makes more sense than investing in new facilities around the world.
"Production capacity is something we have to monitor all the time because of the success of cars globally but Oxford will always be the home of MINI."
Kruger added the US is now MINI's largest market. It sold 66,000 models there last year. The UK is second at 51,000 followed by Germany at 37,000. Coming up fast on the rails, however, is China with 23,000 sales in 2012.
The media days for the 2013 Frankfurt Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) are 10 & 11 September. Each of the following vehicles is a world premiere at the show....
Only weeks after launching the new, locally made EcoSport compact crossover in India, Ford has recalled almost 1,000 units to check for a potential problem with the glow plug module used to help start...
Tata Group's Jaguar Land Rover has created two new roles on its executive committee to support an increased focus on research and development and to help develop new products....
Renault might have to be as patient in trying to establish electric cars on the market as Toyota was over the introduction of hybrids, a top executive said....
The BMW group on Monday (8 July) announced record sales for the first six months of the year, with 954,521 vehicles delivered worldwide, an increase of 6% year on year. June volume was also a record -...
Geely's Volvo Car Group is claiming world firsts for animal and night pedestrian detection technology due to make its debut in the redesigned XC90 crossover due out at the end of 2014....
- COMMENT: The diminution of Fiat
- Q&A: Volvo XC90 chief engineer Håkan Ivarsson
- COMMENT: BMW & Mercedes battle over self parking
- RESEARCH SNAPSHOT: Review of front-end modules
- COMMENT: No wizards needed at US$100 a barrel
- Arrested Toyota executive quits
- "Levelling off" continues in China's car market
- GM pleased judge tosses out 'ignition switch' suit
- SUVs continue driving US sales growth
- New diesel with 'Thermo Swing Wall Insulation'
- Global light vehicle safety systems market- forecasts to 2029
- Magna International Inc. (MG) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Global light vehicle OE connectivity market- forecasts to 2029
- Global electric light vehicles market- forecasts to 2018
- Global light vehicle instrumentation and cockpits market- forecasts to 2029