As we’ve reported over the past year, BMW is investing over $200 million dollars to expand the MINI Plant in Oxford for 2006. While this will give MINI further flexibility and scalability, it will also cause some production disruption. In fact MINI is currently planning on entirely shutting down the plant for at least three weeks at the start of the year. Inside Line has some further info about the details of the closure:

>Kay Segler, head of the Mini brand, told Automobilwoche magazine that production would be stopped for about three weeks for construction work at the start of the year, and there could be further work on the Cowley plant’s line during the year as the plant’s capacity is increased to 240,000 units a year starting in 2007.

In other words we may see sales number down and wait times up for 2006. The new additions to the plant should come online in time for the start of the next generation MINI production in late summer/early fall 2006.

You can read the entire Inside Line article here:

[ Plant Construction Could Cause Mini Shortage Next Year ] Inside Line