BMW Invests £250M in UK Manufacturing

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    Some good news below for a change! Also interesting to see in Autocar magazine this week that if you add the latest annual UK MINI production numbers to those of JLR (Jaguar, Land-Rover), all once part of British Leyland, you get a total of 700,000 cars built in their combined UK factories, which is actually more than BL ever managed in any year after 1976. Other fascinating statistics are JLR alone have a higher turnover, adjusted for inflation, than BL had in its best year, 1973. Its profits, again adjusted, are 3 times what BL managed in 1969 and if you take JLRs car production figures by themselves it is making as many cars as Rover Group – with the Metro, MGF, Rover 200 etc – managed in the mid 90s.

    'BMW Group has announced a further £250m investment in its UK manufacturing operations by the end of 2015 at its manufacturing plant in Oxford, steel body pressings operation at Swindon and engine plant at Hams Hall near Birmingham. This is to support the company's international growth strategy for the MINI with increasing volumes and up to 10 different models in the new line-up in the mid-term. It comes on top of the £500m UK investment announced in June 2011 and means additional job security for the 5500 UK associates working in the so-called MINI UK Triangle plants.'
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    'Fifty years ago our car business was the world's biggest outside America, but through complacency and incompetence we chucked it away.
    The damage started in the ‘60s, accelerated through the ‘70s and ‘80s, and Ford capped things in 2000 by ceasing car manufacture here after 87 years.
    By then, luckily, a team of foreign-based companies had moved in. The Japanese embraced the UK as a volume manufacturing site, then BMW, Volkswagen and Tata acquired our leading prestige marques and made them work. Today our industry makes 1.2 million vehicles plus two million engines a year, exports three-quarters of them, employs 770,000 people and feeds £8.5 billion into the economy.'

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