Zipse - BMW committed to future UK production for the Mini at much the same volumes as now

Zipse - BMW committed to future UK production for the Mini at much the same volumes as now

In an interview with just-auto, Oliver Zipse, BMW board member responsible for production, said that he does not expect changes to trade arrangements between the UK and EU to directly impact UK output volume at Mini's Oxford plant.

"Mini is still a growing brand," he said. "Whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations, the BMW Group is committed to the UK, with Mini, with Rolls-Royce at Goodwood, the engine facility at Hams Hall and the pressings plant in Swindon.

"The UK is our fourth biggest market and it is important to be in the countries where we sell most of our cars. There will of course be issues. We welcome the recently announced transition period but there will come a point where there will be a border to cross.

"That means there has to be documentation. It doesn't matter if there are no tariffs, if there is a hard border then trucks, trains and 'planes all have to be documented. It's an IT issue and one we are already working on with our suppliers.

"I do not see any direct effect on production volumes [from Brexit] and I see [post-Brexit] production volumes within the realm of where they are now."

He also said the signing of a letter of intent between BMW Group and Great Wall could lead to production of the next generation electric Mini in China.

An electric version of the current Mini will go into production at Plant Oxford in the UK next year and he said that an all new platform for the next Mini would also be built in China.

"These are very early days, we have a letter of intent but there is currently no agreement or memorandum of understanding with Great Wall. We are looking at a future generation eMini."

See also: BMW in talks with GWM for electric MINI production in China