- BMW plans significant investment in UK’s Mini factory near Oxford for electric car production.
- Two new electric Mini models set to be produced at the Cowley plant from 2026.
- UK government supports the investment; battery source for Cowley-built cars remains uncertain.
BMW, the German automotive giant, is gearing up to announce a huge investment in its Mini factory near Oxford
This significant financial commitment will transform the facility to accommodate the production of the next generation of electric cars.
The investment will support the production of two new electric Mini models at the Cowley plant, slated to begin in 2026. This announcement is a positive signal for the future of both the Cowley facility and another BMW factory in Swindon. Collectively, these plants employ over 4,000 workers.
BMW’s investment plan encompasses several key elements. They will allocate a substantial portion of the £600 million investment to modernizing the Cowley plant. This includes enhancing production lines, expanding the body shop, and establishing a dedicated area for battery installation. The plan includes constructing logistics facilities at both Cowley and the Swindon factory, which primarily manufactures body panels for new vehicles.
This comprehensive approach will enable the Cowley factory to produce two next-generation electric Mini designs. These models include the Mini Cooper and the larger Mini Aceman. The third electric model, the Countryman, will continue to be manufactured in Germany.
The investment will receive a boost through funding from the UK government’s Automotive Transformation Fund, estimated at £75 million. This financial support aligns with the government’s commitment to phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035.
However, one crucial unsolved aspect is where BMW will source their batteries. Beginning next year, new regulations will impose substantial tariffs on cars with batteries manufactured outside the UK or the EU. That makes the origin of these batteries a critical issue.
BMW’s substantial investment in its Cowley facility marks a significant step in the UK’s transition to EV production. BMW’s investment not only secures supply chains for EVs, but also secures over 4,000 jobs for the future.