2014 MINI Cooper CountrymanEnlarge Photo
Bringing some of the Paceman and Countryman production to Oxford will mark renewed output for the world's third-oldest car plant. With over 100 years of cars rolling through its doors, the Oxford plant was once known as the British Motor Corporation's Cowley plant. It was previously the production site of Morris Motors, Austin, Austin Healey, MG, Riley, Vanden Plas, Wolseley, Triumph, and even Honda, as well as the original Mini brand.
A statement released by Magna revealed the decision to move MINI production away, but followed it up with news that other BMW models will be built at the site. Which models Magna will build for BMW beyond 2016 isn't yet clear, though it's expected to cover up to 100,000 vehicles over a six to seven-year period. In the past, BMW has contracted Magna to build the X3 in addition to the MINI Paceman and Countryman.
Production of the Paceman and Countryman will be divided between the Oxford plant and the VDL Nedcar plant in the Netherlands, reports the Kleine Zeitung, via Automotive News (sub. req.). The move shouldn't make too much difference for MINI buyers, though there will be the usual matters of quality control, ramp-up and supply to deal with when starting a new production line or bringing in a new factory. There will be some overlap, however, with production at the NedCar plant set to start later this year.
2014 MINI John Cooper Works Paceman in Frozen Black matte paintEnlarge Photo