BMW Group announced today that it will invest more than £600 million (USD$750 million) to transform its UK-based MINI Plant Oxford, transforming the site for all-electric production from 2030.
Established in 1913, Plant Oxford is the largest and oldest of the three MINI plants across the UK. The facility is gearing up to build two new all-electric MINI models from 2026, with 2030 volume planned to be entirely electric.
Stefanie Wurst, Head of the MINI brand, said:
“MINI has always been aware of its history – Oxford is and remains the heart of the brand. I am delighted that the two new, fully electric MINI models – the MINI Cooper and MINI Aceman – are also being produced in Oxford, thereby confirming our path to a fully electric future. The continuing high demand for our locally emission-free vehicles shows the openness of the global MINI community to electromobility, which we will be able to serve optimally, also thanks to Oxford.”
The new investment follows BMW’s announcement in 2021 to expand company efforts to combat climate change, including goals to significantly reduce vehicle emissions throughout the lifecycle, reduce CO2 emissions by 40% per vehicle by 2030, and make a minimum of 50% of its global sales from battery electric vehicles by 2030.
Earlier this year, the company said that its goal to reach 50% global EV sales could be reached earlier than 2030.
The announcement marks a win for the UK’s Sunak government, which has set goals to establish itself as a hub for sustainable investment, but has come under fire for not sufficiently responding to the clean energy and industry packages launched by other major economies the U.S. and EU, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, and the Green Industrial Plan, in order to attract large-scale investment. Investor groups have warned that the government’s recent policy signals have reduced confidence in the its commitments to its climate policies have put the UK’s position in the race for green investment at risk.
BMW said that the government supported the company’s announced investment, which it added “will help to secure jobs at the Oxford manufacturing plant and at the body-pressing facility in Swindon.”
Prime Minister Sunak welcomed the investment, calling it “a major vote of confidence in our car sector which will support high-quality jobs and grow our economy” in a social media post following the announcement.