A Spanish hauliers' strike that threatened domestic auto production last week also hit automakers here in the UK at the weekend but vital parts were apparently flowing again on Monday morning.

BMW's Mini factory at Cowley in Oxfordshire was unable to work over the weekend and Toyota's plant in Derbyshire was also affected.

A BMW spokeswoman said Mini production was due to resume with the Monday afternoon shift clocking on at 5pm (BST).

Toyota Motor Manufacturing spokesman Stev Carter said Toyota's Burnaston unit had lost about 2,500 cars from disrupted production last week but was expecting a restart on Tuesday.

He noted that the Spanish strikes had affected a number of Toyota plants across Europe. Burnaston had partially-suspended (ended early) day shifts on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and axed the night shifts completely. There would also be no day or night shift work Monday, he added.

The BBC reported earlier that the Mini shutdown had affected "hundreds" of staff at BMW's Plant Oxford which employs 4,700 on three shifts, seven days a week, making 700 cars daily.

Local reports said crucial parts held up by truckers protesting since last Monday at high fuel prices - effectively blocking airports and ports - included brake discs.

One anonymous BMW worker told the BBC staff would probably have to work extra hours in future not to lose out on pay - the company had been expected to pay the idled weekend workers.

"Some of the people aren't very happy because they are having to do it on working time account, which is hours that they had built up to have off at times when they would like to have time off," the Mini worker told the BBC.

The striking lorry drivers late last week were warned to get back to work as the government began to take took a hard line against their protest.

The stoppage had led to shortages and panic-buying of food and fuel. A traveller who returned from Spain on Saturday told just-auto that supermarket shelves had been stripped bare in the resort in which he had been staying last week.

The self-employed strikers claimed big haulage companies could cope better with fuel price increases by lowering their rates to land more jobs so the protesting drivers were demanding a minimum, guaranteed rate for their services.

The government refused, saying that would interfere with free-market competition and actually violate European Union rules.