BMW chairman Helmut Panke has ruled out permanent expansion of Mini production in Britain or a second assembly location, according to an Automotive News report.
“We won’t be doing anything like that,” Panke told Automotive News at the Detroit motor show. “Let’s just take it one step at a time. Twenty-four thousand [US sales last year] is not bad. Let’s leave it like that for a while.”
Automotive News said that last month US retailers sold 3,278 Minis — suggesting an annual selling rate of 36,000, after BMW originally forecast 20,000 a year.
Panke told Automotive News that production at the Cowley plant in Oxford can be tweaked in different ways to make more cars, but he said BMW does not want to permanently increase output.
“We have learned new ways of producing more cars when we need to without resorting to additional factories,” he told Automotive News. “We can add a work shift. We are working weekends. We’re even working on Friday afternoons.”