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News of  May 02, 2001


MINI Production begins at BMW Group

Plant Oxford: MINI UK Launch in July

Mini Cooper

Munich - Volume production of MINI One and MINI Cooper begins today at BMW Group's Oxford plant on schedule for a UK launch in July and a European launch in September.

Around 30,000 cars are planned for production this year from the plant which has seen a £230 million investment programme in new production facilities for the MINI since July last year. This is in addition to the previous investment programme during the late 1990s including £80 million for a new paintshop.

Commenting on the production launch, Dr Herbert Diess, managing director of BMW Group Plant Oxford, said: "The MINI has met all the stringent BMW pre-production quality targets and as a result we are able to start producing cars for dealers and their customers on schedule. We have successfully completed our preparation of the plant, our employees and our suppliers and we will see production levels increasing progressively as we move towards the UK sales launch for the car in July."

With a total capacity of around 100,000 cars per annum, the MINI has a high level of production modularisation with a number of suppliers assembling components inside the factory. UK suppliers account for around 40% of the added value of all purchased material of the MINI range. The remaining 60% of the components, except the Brazilian built engine, are predominantly delivered from the EU area.

Employing 2,500 people, BMW Group Plant Oxford has begun a campaign to recruit up to 1,800 additional temporary workers depending on the market demand for the car.

Launching the MINI One and the MINI Cooper this year, and additionally the MINI Cooper S next year, the MINI brand will be supplementing the BMW Group's product portfolio in the small car segment, establishing a new premium dimension in the process.

With the launch of the MINI the reorientation of the BMW Group will consistently be implemented. The core factor in this process is an uncompromising premium brand strategy, which covers the range from the exclusive small car segment all the way to the absolute top segment of the market.

(April 26, 2001)

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