Mini announces a massive investment so that its new electric Mini Cooper and the future Aceman are not only produced in China, but return to their lands in Oxford, England. A major change in strategy for the car manufacturer belonging to the BMW group which could have numerous impacts.
When you proudly display your British origins in your rear lights, it is rather surprising to learn that production is done on the other side of the world. However, this is the fate that is currently reserved for the new electric Mini, discovered at the 2023 Munich Motor Show a few days ago.
If the future thermal version of this fifth generation of city car with a “so British” look is indeed destined to see the light of day in the Oxford factory, its zero-emission versions (Cooper E and Cooper SE) are being born in the Empire of Medium. In China, at the manufacturer Great Wall.
A difference in treatment which is explained in particular by the fact that the two pendants do not have the same underwear. As weird as it may seem, they have a different platform. But this difference in treatment will only be short-lived and will end in 2026 with the return of the electric Mini to its land.
BMW pulls out all the stops to bring Mini back
BMW Group, which we recall owns Mini, has just announced through a press release that production of the new electric Mini will return across the Channel, thanks to a massive investment of a few 600 million pounds sterling, or almost 700,000 euros at the current exchange rate.
This concerns not only the Oxford factory, which we recall has already been producing the current electric Mini since 2019, because it is based on the thermal Mini, but also the Swindon factory. Moreover, in addition to the new generation of electric Mini, it is the future small SUV also electric Aceman, discovered in the guise of an eponymous concept and which will be revealed in early 2024, which will also be produced in England.
As a reminder, the new generation of Mini 3 doors and the future electric Aceman will begin production in the Zhangjiagang factory, in the province of Jiangsu.
2030, more than electric
Let’s recap: today, English factories produce the fourth generation Mini, thermal and electric. Then with the fifth generation, production is divided in two: the thermal ones remain in England, while the electric one will begin its life in China. Moreover, the Mini Aceman will also be produced in China. Then the Mini Cooper E, SE and Aceman will return to their cradle in the North West and West London from 2026 (Chinese production will undoubtedly continue anyway).
And finally, the last very important date to keep in mind, that of 2030, the year from which Mini will only produce electric vehicles.
And what about the electric Countryman, also discovered at the Munich show? Being the very close cousin (same platform) of the BMW iX1, it is produced in Germany, in the BMW factory in Leipzig.
A better bonus for the Mini?
Obviously, with this geographical rapprochement, we can ask ourselves the question if it will not suit French buyers. Indeed, with the arrival of the new bonus system indexed on the carbon footprint more global than just the CO2 emissions of a car, the calculation will be made from its production until its arrival with us. Which obviously penalizes cars built on the other side of the world, particularly because of the environmental cost of transport. And in China even more so because of the heavy use of coal to produce electricity to power factories. We see this with the case of the Dacia Spring and MG4.
For now, it is still a little early to talk about the ecological bonus for the Mini since we do not yet know exactly how it is calculated. Nor even the price of the new electric Mini in France. On the other hand, we already have an idea of its price thanks to our German neighbors where the Mini Cooper E will start at 32,900 euros.