BMW Plans to Invest 500 Million Pounds for Mini Assembly

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG CEO Norbert Reithofer
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, plans to invest 500 million pounds ($821 million) in the next three years, as it prepares U.K. factories for new Mini models.

Most of the spending will be at the Mini plant in Oxford, and the plans will take the automaker’s total investment in U.K. operations to more than 1.5 billion pounds since 2000, the Munich-based company said today in a statement.

“The Mini brand has made a significant contribution to BMW Group’s success in markets around the world,” Chief Executive Officer Norbert Reithofer said. “We anticipate that this will grow further in the future.”

BMW aims to expand the Mini lineup to seven models, with a coupe version planned for this year. A roadster is due to follow in 2012, and the company is developing a production version of the Paceman concept that was shown at the Detroit auto show this year. Both the Mini roadster and coupe will be manufactured in Oxford, the company has said.

European auto executives are in London today for a meeting of the European Auto Manufacturers’ Association. Nissan Motor Co. said yesterday that it will build the next generation of the Qashqai crossover vehicle at its Sunderland, England, plant, investing 192 million pounds.

The Yokohama, Japan-based automaker will also spend 420 million pounds to prepare the factory to build its Leaf electric car beginning in 2013 and to set up a separate facility to make batteries.

Nissan said its investment will help secure about 6,000 jobs. BMW said its plans will safeguard about 5,000 jobs.

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