New from the ground up, new Mini styling, function and performance is the focus. Market launch is scheduled for Spring 2014, and new MINI offers enhanced standard specification, higher comfort levels, comprehensive safety technology including pedestrian protection and more innovative networking technology. Longer and wider than its predecessor, new MINI has more interior space for both the driver and passengers. Revised suspension technology, reduced weight and increased rigidity are teh order of the day
With an investment of £750 million across 3 of BMW Group’s UK manufacturing facilities sees a new 1,000-robot body shop at Plant Oxford, new technologies at the steel body pressings operation in Swindon, and new machining and assembly facilities to produce new generation of three and four-cylinder engines at the Hams Hall engine plant, near Birmingham.
Prime Minister David Cameron said, “I was lucky enough to get an early preview of the new Mini – a classic British icon – during a visit to the factory in Oxford last month. This £750 million investment is great news for both the local and wider economy, along with the 5,500 workers whose jobs are safeguarded by this launch.
“Car manufacturing is a vital engine for growth. Production is back up to pre-recession levels and a car rolls off the line every 20 seconds in the UK. But we’re not complacent. Our industrial strategy is a key part of the Government’s economic plan and we’re helping to drive the car industry further and faster with over £4bn of investment.”
Harald Krueger, BMW Group’s board member for production said, “In our Oxford plant’s centenary year, we are continuing the MINI brand success story and today starting production of the third model generation. Our total investment of £750 million in our British production locations of Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall between 2012 and 2015 underscores the importance of the MINI production triangle within our global production network. The UK is the heart of MINI production – thanks to the experience, competence and strong commitment of all our employees.”
Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW Group’s board member for MINI, BMW Motorrad, Rolls-Royce, Aftersales BMW Group said, “MINI is an inspiration for trend-setters and creative spirits the world over. And with our latest generation of MINI, we want to excite once again. To ensure the new generation of MINI is as successful as its predecessors, we have made just subtle modifications to its design. But beneath the outer skin is a brand-new car with state-of-the-art technologies seen for the first time at a small car”.
The investment provides for additional job security for 5,500 associates currently working in the UK MINI production network. Oxford plant sees upgrades to its paint shop, and final assembly area, and initiatives to reduce carbon footprint and improve waste management processes.