MINI Specialist Cars MINI

10 July 2012

MINI Invest in UK


BMW Group has today announced a further £250m investment in its UK manufacturing operations by the end of 2015 at its plant in Oxford, steel body pressings operation at Swindon and engine plant at Hams Hall near Birmingham. This is to support the company’s international growth strategy for the MINI brand with increasing volumes and up to 10 different models in the new line-up in the mid-term. It comes on top of the £500m UK investment announced in June 2011 and means additional job security for the 5500 UK associates working in the UK MINI production network.

The announcement was made during a visit to MINI Plant Oxford by Business Secretary, Dr Vince Cable and Harald Krueger, Member of the Board of Management BMW Group, on the day when the Olympic Torch Relay will visit the plant.

 “A year ago we announced a further investment of £500m in our UK production network by 2014 and today we are announcing an additional £250m, taking us through to 2015. This brings our total investment in the UK since 2000 to £1.75 billion” said Krueger. “Over the last decade, MINI has been a unique global success and the BMW Group has even greater plans for the future development of the brand. Plant Oxford has played a major role in this with cars being exported to over 100 countries around the world. This additional investment is great news for all our employees in the UK and shows the BMW Group’s commitment to Britain as a vital manufacturing base for us.”

Dr Vince Cable addressed company employees at Oxford, warmly welcoming the new investment, "BMW’s ambitious plans for MINI will ensure its UK sites at Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall remain at the centre of MINI production worldwide. The investment of £250 million in addition to the £500 million last year demonstrates BMW’s commitment to the UK and safeguards jobs for the future."

The extra volume for the growth strategy of the MINI brand and the complexity of new model lines means that additional production capacity for MINI sales beyond Oxford’s maximum capacity is needed in the medium term and the company is now considering how to achieve this.

“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.” explained Krueger.  “Oxford will provide special MINI production expertise for any new operation, particularly in dealing with the high complexity and customer individuality which MINI demands and in operating state-of-the-art, multi-model production lines. Just as Munich is the centre of the BMW world, Oxford is and will remain the home and the heart of MINI.”

As the volume and variety of the MINI model line-up grows, there will be additional production requirements for engines and body panels from the BMW Group’s specialist UK facilities in Hams Hall and Swindon. Part of the new investment is to develop specific production facilities to meet these requirements.

BMW Group’s contribution to UK economy

A report published by Oxford Economics makes clear the significance of BMW Group’s business operations to the UK economy. The key findings of the study show:
  • the activities of BMW Group contribute £1.2 billion each year to UK GDP
  • for every additional £1 contribution to UK GDP directly generated by the company and its dealer network, £2.20 in GDP is created across the UK economy
  • BMW Group and its dealer network employ 18,000 people directly while supporting over 46,000 UK jobs in total
  • 80 per cent of MINIs and 90 per cent of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars are exported. In total, £2.4 billion worth of cars and engines are exported each year, accounting for around one per cent of all goods exported by UK companies.
  • BMW Group and its dealer network spend nearly £1.2 billion each year sourcing goods and services from UK-based suppliers.
  • Through the payment of employee income tax, national insurance contributions, business rates and VAT on vehicle sales, the activities of BMW Group and its dealer network directly contribute over £900 million per annum to the UK Exchequer

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05 July 2012

MINI horn ensemble

MINI horn ensemble takes to the stage.

The eyes of the world were focused on London as Great Britain celebrated the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. And “God Save the Queen” is the message once again as the British capital looks ahead to its next major event from late July to early September. Just a few weeks before the world’s leading athletes go head-to-head in London, MINI UK and the London Philharmonic Orchestra got together to give the British national anthem a rather unusual twist. Nine professional members of the renowned orchestra and the horns of nine MINI London 2012 special-edition models duly joined forces for the job in hand. The result was a rousing performance which will provide a musical fillip for the British Olympic team as they launch their bid for medals in the most important sporting event of the year. MINI fans for whom the British premium small car is not only a cult object but also a cultural ambassador may like to hum their approval.

Pre-performance coordination and the dextrous touch of the experienced musicians ensured the MINI cars produced a suitably harmonious sound. Under the guiding hand of conductor Gareth Newman, the orchestra musicians – who provide a feast for the ears with trumpets, trombones and clarinets in their day jobs – also hit all the right notes for the MINI horn ensemble. “It’s the first time that we’ve attempted to play a piece using just car horns as instruments, and it was a fun and unique experience for us as musicians,” said Newman after the recording.



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04 July 2012

MINI Kitesurf Tour

MINI surfs the North Sea wave. MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe attracted sports fans from around the world to Sylt.

Some 98,000 spectators descended on Germany’s most famous island Sylt between 26 June and 1 July to experience the thrills and spills of kiteboarding competition, MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe-style. A total of 85 competitors from 15 countries took part in the second instalment of kiteboarding’s European tour, the MINI Kitesurf Worldcup Sylt 2012. The event set out to crown the best kitesurfers in three different disciplines. In addition to the course racing and freestyle racing competitions as part of the MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe, Westerland’s Brandenburger Strand also hosted Kitesurf World Cup slalom competitions.

German freestylers competing on the MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe accounted for two podium places on Sylt, Mario Rodwald from Rendsburg and Sabrina Lutz from Hamburg proving they belong among the European elite in this discipline. Rodwald beat Austria’s Stefan Spiessberger and Luke Whitesite from Great Britain into second and third places respectively, while only Annelouse Lammerts of the Netherlands could get the better of Lutz in the women’s freestyle category. Third was Lammerts’ compatriot Kelly Schouten. “It’s always very special to ride and win in front of your home crowd,” beamed Mario Rodwald, reflecting on his victory. “The applause and cheers from the beach give you an extra push.” The 21-year-old arrived on Sylt as favourite for the event, having won the first competition on the Tour in Podersdorf, Austria.

Next kite zone: the Netherlands.

The MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe sets out to find the best European kitesurfers in the freestyle and racing disciplines in competitions at five different venues. MINI is the first car manufacturer to support the official kiteboarding European championship. Sylt was the second of five stop-offs on the MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe. The first competition took place in Podersdorf, Austria from 2 – 6 May 2012, and following the event in Sylt the competitors will meet up again in Brouwersdam in the Netherlands on 16 –19 August.

MINI catches the eye.

Participants and spectators alike had the opportunity to soak up and test-drive the latest MINI models on Sylt, as well as getting their hands on items from the current MINI Lifestyle collection in the accessories shop. Plus, the MINI Kite Experience area gave spectators the chance to try out the cool and exciting sport of kitesurfing on dry land under the watchful eye of experts.

You can find out more about MINI Kitesurf Tour Europe 2012 at

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