AM Online

Mini stays in Oxford

Mini's Oxford factory is running flat out, but there are no plans to build new factories anywhere else around the globe – with the exception of a new 4x4 cross-over model due to be launched in 2010.

This will be built by Austrian company Steyr in its own plant and Mini boss Kay Segler said this was a special case.

“The technology on the cross-over is specialised and Steyr is well known in this field. Apart from that we do not intend to build Minis anywhere else other than Oxford.”

Mini sold 222,875 units sold last year, up from 188,077 in 2006. The factory is now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Segler ruled out BMW being tempted to produce its Mini models in fast growing markets such as China or India.

He said: “We are not just selling cars, we are building a brand and we have a responsibility to BMW in terms of making a return to our dealers so they don’t have to discount prices. We also have a responsibility to our customers to keep demand high and so resale values remain strong.”

Before the cross-over model there is the John Cooper Works Mini which takes to the road this summer and the updated convertible will be launched next year.

The UK remains the strongest market with around 50,000 sales in 2007, followed by the United States, 42,000 and Germany 30,000.

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