German car giant BMW on Monday said it would invest more than £600 million ($751 million) in its UK plants making the Mini, with the Oxford site producing only electric vehicles from 2030.
British media said the UK government will invest £75 million, helping to safeguard 4,000 jobs.
“BMW’s investment is another shining example of how the UK is the best place to build cars of the future,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement.
“By backing our car manufacturing industry, we are securing thousands of jobs and growing our economy right across the country.”
The first generation of the iconic British vehicle’s electric model was launched at the Oxford plant in 2019.
BMW said production of two new electrified models –Mini Cooper3-door and Mini Aceman — would start in the UK in 2026.
“BMW Group has announced today a new investment of more than £600 million in the Mini factories at Oxford and Swindon,” the statement said.
“With this new investment we will develop the Oxford plant for production of the new generation of electric Minis and set the path for purely electric car manufacturing in the future,” added Milan Nedeljkovic, member of the board of management of BMW responsible for production.
Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch called the BMW investment “a big vote of confidence in the UK economy”.
She added: “We are proud to be able to support BMW Group’s investment, which will secure high-quality jobs, strengthen our supply chains and boost Britain’s economic growth.”
Britain plans to ban the sale of new high-polluting diesel and petrol cars from 2030, forcing its largely foreign-owned manufacturers to switch to electric models — and sparking investment in battery production.
Indian conglomerate Tata Group in July said it would build a gigafactory in Britain to manufacture batteries, as nations accelerate away from fossil fuel vehicles.
The £4-billion plant in Somerset would be Tata’s first gigafactory outside India. — Agence France-Presse