BMW says it will still start production of the electric Mini model in the UK later this year as planned despite the insecurity surrounding Brexit. The German carmaking giant had made plans way ahead, and production chief Oliver Zipse seemed unfazed even with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
Zipse wet on record saying that BMW expects any disruption to just-in-time supply chains to steady out within four to six weeks, even in the event of an unnegotiated Brexit, according to a report by Automotive News. Should there be a no-deal separation, BMW anticipates tariffs of zero to 5 per cent and that “won’t change Mini’s business model,” Zipse told reporters. Nor will this change the future of the Mini-plants in the UK, he added as for BMW “to consider fundamentally changing our production sites in the UK, there’d have to be significantly more severe developments.”
However, the Germans had prepared for Brexit before and are among those foreign carmakers that have already opted to bring forward annual production stops to the period immediately after the existing Brexit deadline on 29 March. This is to minimise any disruption to loads of components crossing the UK border and means Easter comes early this year for British workers. In the meantime, BMW will stick with the halt at Mini’s Oxford plant for April as well.
The comments came after the latest announcement and im/possible delay scenario announced by the British government of which we care to spare you the details here.
What remains certain is that BMW just moved its Mini production schedule in China ahead. Its longstanding joint venture partner Great Wall just confirmed plans to build a factory in the Chinese province of Jiangsu where the first electric cars by Mini will roll off the assembly line from 2021 (we reported).