May 27, 2002
BMW expands MINI production in England
Oxford, England – To meet a larger-than-expected demand for the new MINI, the BMW Group has invested a further 50 million pounds (CAN $112 million) in the MINI manufacturing plant in Oxford, England. Investment at the plant will include measures to improve productivity and flexibility, develop the site infrastructure and introduce the MINI Cooper S.
The BMW Group has hired 700 more permanent workers at Oxford and a further 300 jobs at the BMW Group Pressings plant at Swindon and 150 jobs at the Group’s transmission factory in the West Midlands, which supplies MINI gearboxes.
In the 12 months since the start of full production, employment at Plant Oxford rose from 2,400 to around 4,500 with the early introduction of three shifts, seven days a week, 51 weeks a year.
“We had planned to produce 30,000 cars to the end of last year but the actual figure was more than 42,000,” said Dr Norbert Reithofer, BMW Board Member for Production. “With further production rises already this year, Plant Oxford will product the 100,000th MINI during the month of May – just 13 months after the start of volume production”
The MINI range will be available in 50 markets throughout the world by the end of 2002, with the United States, Europe and Japan being major markets for the car. About 75 per cent of sales are expected to be for the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S models.
In the UK market, MINI sales in the first quarter of 2002 continued to rise with 10,595 units delivered to customers out of total sales of more than 25,000 MINIs throughout Europe.
In Canada, over 900 vehicles were sold even before the 14 retailers opened for business on March 22, 2002. Deliveries of MINI Coopers and MINI Cooper S began in April with 202 deliveries. Total production for Canada in 2002 is 2000 units.