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Mini success creates more UK jobs

An extra 450 jobs will be created by BMW to meet demand for Mini as production is stepped up to 240,000 cars a year from 2008.

The jobs are spread across the three plants that make the ‘Mini triangle’ – the Oxford assembly plant, the Swindon pressing facility where body panels are produced and the Hams Hall, Warwickshire, engine plant.

The extra jobs will bring total employment to 6,800 with at least an extra 750 jobs being created by the three suppliers for the front end, cockpit and seat modules.

Each of these have operations within an hour of Oxford and between them have invested more than £40 million to meet demand for new Mini. It also means that now about 60% of the components for new Mini come from suppliers based in the UK compared to just 40% for the previous model.

Flexible shift patterns, introduced when Mini production started in 2001, have been fine tuned. The plant is now working up to 24-hours a day, seven days a week. There are two long shifts Monday to Thursday and a permanent Friday-Sunday shift. There are no production shifts on Saturday night or Sunday during the day which is when maintenance work is carried out.

Mini production hit a record 200,000 in 2005 and dropped to 184,000 last year with the introduction of the new models.

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