BMW to build new electric Mini in UK with drivetrain from Germany
However, the carmaker still requires tariff-free access to avoid higher prices.
BMW has chosen to build its new Mini at its Cowley plant, near Oxford. As Sky News reports, it’s a vote of confidence for the the workforce there. It’s also great news for the UK. However, with the outcome of Brexit and the future trade relationship between the UK and EU still uncertain, it’s good news that comes with a warning. As with other carmakers and manufacturers in the UK, BMW has strongly argued for tariff-free access between the UK and EU to continue post-Brexit. As the Guardian reports, the carmaker said “we believe integration of the UK into the EU single market, maintaining free movement of goods, services, capital and talent, would be best for business”.
Whilst the new models will be built in Cowley, which has been the main manufacturer of the Mini three-door model, the electric drivetrain will be built at two of its plants in Germany before being shipped to the UK. Here’s the key line from BMW’s statement confirming the news:
The electric MINI’s electric drivetrain will be built at the BMW Group’s e-mobility centre at Plants Dingolfing and Landshut in Bavaria before being integrated into the car at Plant Oxford, which is the main production location for the MINI 3 door model.
The majority of minis built in the UK are also sent to to the EU. So whilst the Cowley plant now has assurance that the new model will be built there, other future investment could be in danger should there not be tariff-free access post-Brexit.