BMW is experiencing a booming demand for its X1 SUV, amongst different fashions, on account of which it’s taking a look at transferring extra automotive manufacturing to the UK. In keeping with our sister publication, Autocar UK’s, sources, the German carmaker is contemplating taking up the Honda plant in Swindon.
The Honda manufacturing facility is presently scheduled to shut in 2021 when manufacturing of the Civic ends, however sources perceive that BMW is in discussions to tackle the positioning after that date. BMW sources have refused to remark.
There are a variety of causes that BMW is alleged to be trying carefully at increasing its operation within the UK, together with the extremely built-in manufacturing system already in place right here.
BMW builds Minis, that are primarily based on the UKL1 transverse-engine platform, at Oxford, utilizing engines from its Hams Corridor plant close to Birmingham and physique panels from its urgent plant close to Swindon.
At the moment, BMW additionally contracts Mini manufacturing to the VDL Nedcar manufacturing facility within the Netherlands. Final 12 months, VDL stated output rocketed from 1,69,00zero vehicles in 2017 to greater than 2,00,00zero, as a result of launch of the brand new BMW X1 that’s primarily based on the identical structure because the Mini household.
Demand for the X1 may be very sturdy, accounting for greater than 13 p.c of all international BMW gross sales. Autocar UK not too long ago revealed that some 1 Sequence manufacturing could possibly be moved to the UK, a automotive BMW bought round 2,00,00zero models of worldwide final 12 months.
One other clue that BMW is getting ready to re-allocate UKL manufacturing seems on the VDL firm web site, the place it states it expects fewer orders from BMW subsequent 12 months and, maybe, within the years past that. The corporate has decreased its versatile workforce by greater than 1,00zero workers.
BMW has additionally obtained define planning permission to increase its Swindon urgent facility.
BMW insiders stay tight-lipped, admitting solely that “some reorganisation” is being thought of at Mini Oxford.
With BMW promoting round 6,87,00zero UKL1-based vehicles final 12 months – made up of the 1 Sequence, 2 Sequence, Mini, X1 and X2 – basing a lot of this in a single place would make large monetary sense, as properly lowering the size of provide strains post-Brexit.
Autocar UK understands the Oxford plant is presently working flat out, hitting a day by day manufacturing charge of 1,100 vehicles.
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