BMW is reportedly considering the reallocation of more vehicle production to the United Kingdom, and is said to have its sights on the Swindon manufacturing plant that is home to Honda Civic production until 2021, according to Autocar.
The publication notes that there are a number of reasons the German manufacturer is looking keenly at expanding its UK operations, which include the highly integrated production system already in place in the country.
Manufacturing of MINI models takes place in Oxford, with engines coming from Hams Hall near Birmingham, while its body panels come from the pressing plant near Swindon. Outside of the UK, MINI production is contracted to VDL Nedcar in the Netherlands, where output grew from 169,000 cars in 2017 to over 200,000 units last year due to the launch of the BMW X1, which is based on the same platform as the MINI range.
Another BMW, the 1 Series could see some of its production moved to the UK as well, and Autocar points to clues of UKL-platform model output reallocations from the VDL website, which stated that fewer orders from BMW are expected next year and possibly in the years beyond that.
The report adds that VDL has reduced its flexible workforce by over 1,000 employees, and that BMW has obtained outline planning permission to extend its Swindon pressing facility.
With approximately 687,000 UKL1 platform-based models sold last year, consolidating production and related operations would make great financial and logistical sense, the latter particularly for post-Brexit concerns. According to the report, the Oxford facility is running at capacity, with 1,100 vehicles made daily.