Last year we reported that BMW was seriously looking at production for MINI outside of both Oxford and Austria. First it was Germany that was considered. Then BMW looked seriously at buying a major part of bankrupt automaker Saab for the production capacity and skilled labor. However that was all just a warm-up act for the final solution. Today the Dutch company VDL announced it had signed a deal to take over Mitsubishi’s sole western European plant and start producing MINIs beginning in the latter half of 2014.
What cars will be produced there? The better question is what will be built in Oxford? The information we’ve be given over the past 12 months has all signs pointing to only the F56 hatch, F55 five door and F54 Clubman being UK based. Beyond that the Countryman will continue to be built in Austria for this generation. But more interestingly MINI is planning on producing variants of the F56 and perhaps the much rumored “Spacebox” (based on BMW’s Active Tourer concept) with VDL in the Netherlands.
Look for this to be made public by BMW soon.