Mini production in Oxford, United Kingdom
Your next Mini could be sourced from a plant in China if a report from Bloomberg proves accurate.
Mini’s BMW Group parent is allegedly in talks with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor over a deal to start Mini production in China, for local sale as well as export.
The majority of Minis are produced at a plant in Oxford, United Kingdom, with the remainder sourced from a plant in the Netherlands. The Oxford plant last year celebrated the completion of the three millionth modern Mini, production of which started in 2001. Starting in 2019, the plant will also be churning out electric cars, the first of which will be based on the Hardtop.
The BMW Group already produces BMW models in China with local automaker Brilliance, though the cars are sold in the domestic market only.
Great Wall, which operates the brands Haval and the eponymous Great Wall, and has just launched a new upmarket brand dubbed Wey, is yet to be courted by a foreign automaker, one of the Chinese government mandates for foreign automakers looking to produce cars in China.
Representatives from the BMW Group and Great Wall declined to comment on the report.
Automakers producing cars in China have made great strides towards improving quality in recent years, to the point where there are no discernible differences to cars made elsewhere. Volvo was the first major automaker to start exporting cars made in China to the United States when it brought over the S60 Inscription in 2015. Since then we’ve seen General Motors bring over the Chinese-made Buick Envision and Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid, and Ford has confirmed it’s next-generation Focus will be sourced from China.