BMW-mini-profit.jpg” width=”135″ height=”150″ align=”right” vspace=”10″ hspace=”10″>BMW-badged
cars could join BMW-designed engines on British assembly lines if proposals currently
being considered are given the green light in Munich.

The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported that the Munich-based car maker is considering
building a new small car and versions of its top-selling 3-series model at its
Cowley plant in Oxford, where it is currently ramping up production of the new
Mini from 100 to 500 units a day.

Last February, BMW opened an engine plant at Hams Hall in the English Midlands
and it is also building its new Rolls-Royce factory on the south coast.

The Mail on Sunday said that German executives have privately told Cowley union
officials that developing the site would free up much-needed capacity in other
plants worldwide.

The newspaper added that BMW is concerned about exchange rate problems caused
by the strength of Britain’s pound sterling, but, citing company insiders,
added that the company believes the extra investment would pay off.

Cowley will eventually make about 70,000 Minis a year but could produce 100,000
vehicles annually, the Mail on Sunday said, adding that, with extra investment,
that output could rise substantially.

The newspaper said that BMW’s ambitious plans to broaden its product range,
including the introduction of a 1-series entry-level car, could see all of the
company’s small-car production under one roof in Oxford.

Citing government sources, the Mail on Sunday said that production at Cowley
could be boosted to 250,000 cars a year if BMW invested in the plant’s paint

Officially, the newspaper added, BMW claims to want to concentrate only on
building the Mini at Cowley. But the Mail on Sunday’s sources say that
investing a further £250 million would allow BMW to install another production
line on the site.

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