The BMW slowed down the development of a new generation of MINI hatchbacks because of the uncertainty in trade relations between the UK and EU, and also due to the restructuring plans of the business, requiring large investments in electric vehicles.
January 31, 2020, the UK is officially out of the EU, but breaksit not completed before the end of the year should be concluded bargain between the Kingdom of the EU, which will define the terms of business between the former allies, and these conditions will depend on the fate of many in the territory of the UK factories, including MINI plant Oxford. If duties collected in the UK machines will be too high (above 5%), the plant in Oxford will be forced to reduce production to a minimum or stop it, that would be a serious blow to the image MINI.
Now the Oxford plant is the main focus for the British brand since 1994 owned by the BMW Group: it produces a little more than half of all MINI, the rest gives the Dutch company VDL Nedcar, collecting the contract, the crossover Countryman. In 2022, the MINI will be the third plant in China, there together with Great Wall Motors will make a relatively affordable electric cars Rocketman. Will they in Europe, as yet unknown, because in Europe have already have an electric MINI model Cooper SE – albeit with a very mediocre part of the reserve characteristics (less than 180 km on a single charge at the most realistic of the existing us EPA method).
How successful will Cooper SE, it will be clear this year, because in Europe, its sales have just begun in the US yet. In addition to the Cooper SE only plug-in hybrid Countryman MINI better statistics in terms of CO2 emissions, while other models emit more than 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre and are the generators of the environmental fine, which in 2021 for the BMW Group may exceed 750 million euros. This means that to produce the new MINI in Oxford is not only disadvantageous because of the uncertainty around breccia, but because of stringent environmental doctrine in Europe, which is the main consumer of the Oxford products.
Now, according to Reuters received from Maximilian Szuberla, Director of corporate Affairs BMW Group, the German company decided to refrain from long-term investment in its Oxford plant and extend the life cycle of the current, third generation of MINI hatchbacks for an indefinite period. This solution also fits well in last spring announced a restructuring plan BMW for the reduction in costs of 12 billion euros by 2022 and reduce by half inventory of engines and transmissions.
The current third (if we take into consideration MINI biography under the wing of BMW) generation of hatchbacks came to the market in 2014, and is now what is called in the pre-retirement age. Replacement expected in 2022-2023 years on the platform of FAAR (upgraded UKL), this was planned to reduce the dimensions of the new hatchback compared to the current to the Mini name on them didn’t seem far-fetched (now criticise a MINI because it produces too big cars). Now developing the fourth generation is paused, and the MINI brand will focus on expanding its presence in the United States and China, and in America is to be expected to be an expanding lineup of crossovers.
Meanwhile, MINI sales in the U.S. are falling: last year sold a total of 36 165 machines, 17.2% less than in 2018. In Europe, everything is more or less stable: in 2019 sold 212 548 cars (-0,3%). Global sales of the Mini in the past year decreased by 4.1% to 346 639 cars.