BMW commit to building the electric Mini in UK

GERMAN car giant BMW delivered a Brexit boost by announcing plans to build an electric Mini in Britain - just as we leave the EU.

Electric Mini PH

Electric Mini will go into production in Britain from 2019

The three-door hatchback will go into production from 2019, the year Britain is due to pull out of Europe.

The new model's electric drivetrain - effectively the motor, gearbox and battery pack - will be built at BMW's plants in Bavaria.

It will then be integrated into the body at Cowley, near Oxford, main production site for the Mini 3-Door Hatch.

The decision to build the car at Cowley, which has a 4,500-strong workforce, was hailed as proof that the UK remains attractive to investors.

Dover MP Charlie Elphicke, a member of the cross-party pro-Brexit Change Britain group, called it "a huge vote of confidence in the UK economy and great news for British jobs".

Attractive He added: "This is yet further evidence that Britain remains an attractive place to invest, with companies looking to develop the technologies of tomorrow here in the UK today."

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: "This is a vote of confidence in the determination of our Industrial Strategy to make Britain the go-to place for the next generation of vehicles. "BMW's decision recognises the strength of the workforce and the productive relationship between the automotive sector and the Government."

The announcement was also welcomed by environmentalists WWF, whose transport specialist James Beard said: "This is terrific news for the UK economy and a huge vote of confidence in the UK clean tech sector.

“This is terrific news for the UK economy and a huge vote of confidence in the UK clean tech sector”

James Beard - WWF transport specialist

"It helps move UK transportation into the 21st century."

British car production hit a ten-year high last year, with 1.7million motors made and more than 800,000 people employed across the wider industry.

Britain could face tariffs on exports to the EU after Brexit but BMW said it had "neither sought nor received" assurances from the Government on future trading arrangements.

BMW said in a statement from its Munich headquarters that electrification is one of the central pillars of the group's corporate strategy.

It expects electrified vehicles to account for up to 25 per cent of sales by 2025.

Electric Mini EPA

The car will be built at Cowley, which has a 4,500-strong workforce

Electric Mini EPA

BMW expects electrified vehicles to account for up to 25 per cent of sales by 2025

In early July Volvo became the first traditional car maker to commit to including an electric motor in all of its new models, starting in 2019. 

In March this year the first vehicle manufacturing facility to be built in Britain for more than a decade opened in Ansty, Coventry, to produce a new electric London black taxi.

Also helping make electric cars more attractive is a £246million Government investment in battery technology.

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