Our friends at Insideline had a chance to catch-up with Ian Robertson about the state of MINI and he had some interesting remarks. As we know MINI production is bursting at the seems. Recession aside, MINI is dealing with a plant that can only produce 250,000 cars while demand is expected to grow in many parts of the world. In addition to that, BMW is planning new models (as we’ve noted many times here on MF) beyond the current family of vehicles. While the BMW Group will be producing the MINI Crossover in cooperation with Magna in Austria, future production expansion will likely happen within current BMW factories around the world.
The first factory that comes to mind is BMW’s plant in Spartanburg South Carolina USA. Since the US is MINI’s largest market, it would make a lot of sense from a currency and shipping perspective to at least consider it.
Of course this would require further expansion of the Spartanburg plant and there are many economic realities that would have to fall into place before that would happen. However it’s an interesting thought that BMW could theoretically shift production of the iconic British car to the Southeast US.
We’ll have much more exclusive news on this and other production and product related changes next week.