BMW secures electric future of UK Mini factories

BMW has confirmed it is to invest hundreds of millions of pounds to prepare its Mini factories at Cowley and Swindon to build latest generation and all-new electric models from 2026.

BMW said it will spend £600 million on revamping the Cowley plant, including developing production lines, extending the body shop as well as building battery installation and additional logistics facilities at Cowley and at its Swindon body panel factory.

This will prepare for two new all-electric Mini models from 2026, the Mini Cooper 3-door and the new-launch compact crossover Mini Aceman. By, 2030, it is planned that production volume will be exclusively electric with the BMW Group having spent over £3 billion on its Swindon, Hams Hall and Oxford plants since 2000.

The Mini plant in Oxford currently produces the Mini 3-door, the Mini 5-door as well as the Mini Clubman and the Mini Electric. From 2024 the plant will start producing the next generation Mini 3-door and Mini 5-door with combustion engines, as well as the new Mini Convertible, before they are joined by the new all-electric vehicles in 2026.

The factory will reach a production capacity of around 200,000 cars per year in the medium term, with ICE and battery electric vehicles initially being built on the same production line. From 2030, the Oxford Plant will produce all-electric Mini models exclusively.

The UK investment will be backed by funding from the government‘s Automotive Transformation Fund – understood to be worth £75 million.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of UK industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “Not only does it secure the long-term future of the home of one of the world’s most iconic brands, it also demonstrates once again our capabilities in electric vehicle production. Investments such as this improve productivity and help deliver jobs, growth and economic benefits for the country.”

The first electric Mini was launched at the Cowley plant in 2019 and as the brand planned to go fully electric by 2030, BMW’s decision was critical to future of its UK manufacturing base.

Interestingly, last year, BMW said production of most of its electric cars would move to China in partnership with Great Wall Motor, suggesting that building conventional and electric cars on the same site was ‘inefficient.


Production of the next generation all-electric MINI Cooper 3-door and MINI Aceman will go ahead as planned in China at a new manufacturing plant in Zhangjiagang, and is based on a joint venture with Great Wall Motors. Exports will begin in early 2024.

Ahead of the UK ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel powered cars in 2035 the UK has made several strategic investments in UK-based EV manufacturing including the decision to back Jaguar Land Rover’s “gigafactory” to produce batteries in Somerset, and Stellantis which is planning to ramp up EV manufacturing at Ellesmere Port.


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