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Mini to shift some production outside UK

More Mini production is to be shifted out of the UK but the British brand's German owner says that Oxford will always be the home of the famous small car.

The problem is that as the family grows it is running out of space at home.

The Mini facility at the former Rover plant is close to full capacity and there is no more room to expand said Harald Kruger, the BMW man in charge of both the small car brand and Britain's other famous marque, Rolls-Royce.

Production of some models will be moved later this year to the contract assembler Nedcar in Holland, which has plenty of spare capacity.

Kruger said: "We have not decided yet which models we will produce in Holland but we definitely need the additional production capacity."

The Dutch production plant has produced Volvo and Mitsubishis in the past but faced an uncertain future after the Japanese company's decision to pull out - but now BMW has stepped in.

Mini has already started overseas production using the Magna Steyr factory in Austria to building the Countryman and the Paceman models. Kruger said that the brand will continue to use contract assemblers to make up production volume.

"It gives us the necessary flexibility to increase or decrease production and move model lines around if necessary," he added. "It also makes more sense than investing in all new facilities around the world.

"Production capacity is something we have to monitor all the time because of the success of cars globally but Oxford will always be the home of Mini."

Kruger added that the United States is now Mini's largest market. It sold 66,000 models there last year. The UK is number two at 51,000 followed by Germany at 37,000. Coming up fast on the rails, however, is China with 23,000 sales in 2012.

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  • Irishboy4 - 17/01/2013 11:46

    BMW dumped Rover, took the Cowley factory and the Mini which was at final design stage, now through stealth they are moving production away from England.

  • Minimoto - 20/01/2013 13:17

    The quality from the Nedcar plant has never been anywhere near that of Mini. BMW need to be very careful, Mercedes lost a lot of sales and damaged their reputation with poorly built vehicles from outside Germany. Steyr is a manufacturer with a similar quality ethic, but Nedcar in Holland hasn't been so far, they'd be better buying one of the closed Ford plants, at least they know how to screw a car together!

  • Irishboy4 - 21/01/2013 05:07

    You are so right Minimoto, Mercedes lost quality and relibaility when the started build and selling cars in the UK from South Africa. My ex wife owned 7 in a row and the last 2 (both built in SA) had electrical problems, one of which emanated from the wiring burning out.