News that a leading German car manufacturer is about to plough another £250 million into its British plants was met with joy yesterday from both Government and motor industry sources.
The decision by BMW to invest the money into its three factories in the UK that produce the Mini will guarantee the future of the 5,500 workers already employed there. The workers in Swindon and Hams Hall will produce more motors and car body panels than ever before, for a Mini range which now stretches to seven models. The original hatchback is now accompanied by the Clubman estate, the Clubvan, the Countryman Offroader, the Convertible, the Coupé and the Roadster. BMW confirmed that the extra investment will mean the Mini will eventually be offered in 10 different body styles with an eighth possible model in the guise of the Mini Paceman. The number of Mini’s available for motor insurance quotes seems to continue growing!
Business Secretary, Vince Cable, greeted the news enthusiastically saying: “The investment of 250 million pounds in addition to the 500 million last year demonstrates BMW’s commitment to the UK and safeguards jobs for the future.” While Herman Krueger, a BMW director, confirmed the company were looking to build another plant elsewhere in Europe to complement the UK Mini production, saying “Our preferred option is to establish a contract manufacturer as a satellite production as close to our UK operations as possible, at the Nedcar plant in the Netherlands, with whom BMW is in discussions.”
In a time of financial instability and pressures on many businesses proving detrimental to their growth, the UK car manufacturing industry seems to be going from strength to strength. The £250 million BMW investment comes hot on the heels of Nissan and General Motors confirming massive investment in Merseyside and the North East.