Thursday, 26 July 2012

BMW Plans MINI Production in The Netherlands

AMSTERDAM, BMW AG has confirmed to consider MINI production in the NedCar plant in Born, The Netherlands.

Mitsubishi Motor Corp, the current owner of NedCar, announced in December 2010 that it would cease production of the Colt and Outlander there and last February confirmed not to plan to build any new models in the Dutch plant. Earlier this month, BMW made the official announcement after lots of speculations and rumors were circulating about possible interest from other manufacturer, which would save the jobs of some 1,500 people and indirectly many more in the area of the Zuid-Limburg province, which is struggling with higher unemployment than the national average.
The Dutch VDL Group, a Dutch international industrial company focused on development, production and sales of finished or semi-finished products, buses and coaches, has serious plans to take over NedCar. Under this construction, BMW is prepared to consider using production capacity of VDL to build MINI’s. VLD is free to also acquire other customers. Internal sources mention a year production of between 60 and 90 thousand cars.

Last month, BMW announced it will invest 750 million euro to crank up MINI production, while now they said another 300 million euro will be invested in its British plants in Oxford and Swindon. This is essential for the international growth of the MINI brand, but since the plants are reaching their maximum capacity, the company is planning to add ‘satellite production’ outside Great-Britain, and, according to Krüger “as close as possible to our UK operations.” MINI is planning to increase its model line within the next 5 years to 10 vehicles, including the Countryman coupe and a small MINI Van, possibly dubbed Traveller. It is well-known that MINI wants to sell half a million cars per year in the next couple of years with 10 model lines.. In 2011 MINI sold a record of 285,000 vehcles,1 22 per cent rise on the previous year. The British Oxford plant has a yearly capacity of 260,000 vehicles, while contract manufacturer Magna Steyr can build some 100,000 units of the MINI Countryman. Read More...