Most employees will be offered positions within the group, mainly at the Oxford Mini assembly plant. The rest will be offered early retirement or redundancy packages.
However, BMW has reassured the remaining 1,100 workers that it is not preparing to sell the plant and says the cuts are part of a business consolidation programme, which will see production refocused on components for the Mini range.
“There is very much a future for the Swindon plant. We have seen production volumes of the Mini grow year on year and I’m sure that will continue to grow.
I think we will see a whole family of cars emerge in the Mini range and the Swindon plant is integral to this success,” says Angela Stangroom, group communication manager for BMW UK and Plant Oxford.
The plant was a former Rover Group facility, which BMW acquired when it purchased Rover in 1994. Since then it has continued to produce panels and parts for all Rover and MG models as well as the Range Rover and Freelander under a number of historical third party contracts.
However, falling demand for Rover parts has seen production scaled down and in July BMW began a £40m three-year investment programme to improve tooling and automation techniques for the production of Mini parts. MG Rover is now in the process of resourcing pressings from other sources.