BMW said on Monday it will invest 600 million pounds ($750 million) at its UK plants to take its iconic Mini brand all-electric by 2030, a fresh boost for Britain’s car industry after years of Brexit-related uncertainty.
From 2026, the German premium carmaker will make two electric models at its Mini plant in Oxford – the Mini Cooper 3-door and the compact crossover Mini Aceman. The plant will make only electric models as of 2030.
The same two models will also be made in China and exports of those cars will begin in 2024.
British business minister Kemi Badenoch will visit the plant in Oxford for the announcement of the investment, which the government said boosted total investment in the automotive sector in recent years to over 6 billion pounds.
“BMW’s investment is another shining example of how the UK is the best place to build cars of the future,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement.
The carmaker said the UK government had provided support for the investment, but did not provide details.
BMW will also invest in its UK plant in Swindon which makes parts for Mini models. The company did not say what will happen to its engine plant in Hams Hall.
The small, fast and affordable original Mini went on sale in 1959 and has remained popular under BMW since it revived the brand in 2001, but its future in Britain has been uncertain for years.
Still, the industry remains on edge with both Britain and Europe’s carmakers calling for a delay in the implementation of post-Brexit “rules of origin”, under which 45% of the value of an EV being sold in the European Union must come from Britain or the EU from 2024 to avoid tariffs.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout, Nick Carey; Editing by Hugh Lawson)