BMW Invests Big In The UK

BMW Group Chairman Norbert Reithofer recently announced that the automaker will be investing an additional £500 million in its Oxford assembly plant, Swindon pressing plant, and Birmingham area engine facility for the MINI automobile.

Mr. Reithofer commented that the “outstanding” quality of the UK workforce served as a major motivating factor. There is nothing small about this move, as 5,000 jobs will be saved.

Mr. Reithofer commented that the latest investment ensures that Britain continues to be at the “heart” of production for the MINI. UK operations for the vehicle are on par with plants in the rest of Europe and in the U.S., in terms of product quality and productivity.

The next generation of MINIs will be built at Oxford. This could develop into up to ten different models.

BMW remains committed to its other UK operations, according to Mr. Reithofer. This includes a Rolls Royce factory located near Goodwood in West Sussex, the Hams Hill engine plant, and the Swindon pressing division. In news that will make would-be BMW car finance or cash purchasers smile, the BMW group chairman hinted that the next generation of small BMWs may be built at Oxford.

As far as MINIs go, Oxford churned out 216,000 during 2010. The export market received 80 percent of these, shipping MINIs to 90 countries throughout the world. Total BMW UK exports of engines and cars was £2.4 billion during 2010.

Not shabby at all, considering the auto industry is still recovering from the global financial crisis.

One person who is very pleased with the BMW funding decision is British Prime Minister David Cameron. He said this represents a major vote of confidence in the skills and abilities of the BMW UK workforce. It also sends a positive message regarding the future of automobile manufacturing in Britain.