BMW Boss Pledges UK Future For MINI

The MINI will never be built anywhere other than at BMW’s Oxford factory, company chairman Dr Helmut Panke said this week. "Oxford will be the MINI’s only home," he said.

And he urged the British government to join the euro, saying that "as a manufacturer we consider the main advantages of British membership to be a simplification of transactions and a more stable planning environment.

"Decisions on future investment plans for the BMW Group in the UK are clearly not going to be easier should those differences in currencies continue into the longer term."

Dr Panke, speaking at BMW GB’s annual press dinner in London, said that the BMW Group now employed 9,000 in the UK and had invested £700m over the last three years, making BMW the UK’s second biggest inward investor.

The Hams Hall engine plant in the West Midlands was now BMW’s sole production facility for four cylinder petrol engines, which are exported to Germany and South Africa, where 3 Series are built. Hams Hall will also produce engines for the new 1 Series, due towards the end of 2004.

Hams Hall will also assemble the engines from the joint venture with PSA for the next generation of MINI engines, said Dr Panke.

Published 14 November 2003 Melanie Carter

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