BMW could get financial boost to build electric Mini in the UK

BMW is reportedly negotiating with the British Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to receive a 75 million pound (about 84.5 million euros) grant in order to continue production of the electric Mini at its plant in Cowley on the outskirts of Oxford.

This comes after British media reported in October, that the German carmaker could stop building the electric version in the UK entirely. It would continue to produce its conventional models there and move its EV production to China through their partnership with Great Wall, while the electric Countryman will be built in Leipzig, Germany.

This report was contradicted by German media soon after: In November, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) wrote that BMW would continue building the electric Mini in the UK after all since production sites in China and Germany were not sufficient on their own.

On top of that, electric and conventional models are currently based on the same platform, making it possible to build both versions at the Cowley plant. But the next generation electric version will sit on its own platform developed by Great Wall. Parallel production at the Cowley plant was long considered inefficient and too costly – but it seems that BMW may have found a way to the problem.

According to Sky News, who first reported on the alleged grant negotiations, the money would come from Whitehall’s Automotive Transformation Fund. Neither BMW nor the BEIS wanted to further comment on the issue. It is therefore unclear when the money would be released or when the Cowley plant would begin using it. Meanwhile, according to Sky News, industry sources say a deal between the government and the carmaker could be finalized within weeks.

BMW currently makes around 40,000 electric Minis a year at its Oxfordshire plant, where the (conventional) Mini has been build since the 1950s.

In an interview with the BBC, Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta said that the UK is becoming less attractive as a production location compared to other sites in Europe. He said that ongoing government support to carmakers to master the transition to more EVs was needed, as the UK is struggling with higher energy prices and inflation than other countries.

Nissan has already committed to building the successor to the Nissan Leaf at its plant in Sunderland. Whether the electric versions of the Juke and the Qashqai will also be produced there, remains to be seen.,


about „BMW could get financial boost to build electric Mini in the UK“

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