UK

Mini Production Could Move To Germany Amid 'Hard Brexit' Fears, Reports Say

Decision to come by end of the year.

01/03/2017 11:38 GMT | Updated 01/03/2017 14:37 GMT
Eddie Keogh / Reuters
BMW could move production of a new electric Mini to Germany, according to reports

A German newspaper has reacted with joy to news that BMW may move production of a new electric Mini to the country from Britain amid concerns about a ‘hard Brexit’.

Tabloid BILD’s Leipzig declared “thank you Brexit” on Tuesday as the carmaker refused to deny claims it was considering a move to the city as uncertainty mounts for British manufacturers who export to Europe.

A so-called ‘hard Brexit’ could see additional tariffs levied on goods made in the UK but sold in the EU. Last year, 38 percent of the 200,000 Minis made at BMW’s Cowley, Oxfordshire, plant were sent to Europe.

BILD
'Thank you Brexit' - How BILD covered the rumours in its Leipzig edition on Tuesday

Despite an additional report in German newspaper Handelsblatt, BMW has said it is yet to make a final decision on where production will take place.

Two plants in Leipzig and Regensburg, Germany, are reportedly being considered as alternatives to Oxfordshire.

The electric model is due for release in 2019. BMW said: “The decision about where to build this car will be taken before the end of 2017.”

Eddie Keogh / Reuters
A Mini sits on the roof of the BMW plant at Cowley, Oxforshire. It produced 200,000 cars last year

The decision has the potential to dictate the future of Mini production in the UK.

“In the long run BMW plans to make its entire line of Mini cars fully electric, meaning such a move could jeopardise the entire future of Oxford’s Mini plant,” the Oxford Mail reported.

BMW already produces one version of the Mini in the Netherlands.

It comes as the Oxfordshire plant prepares for industrial action as its 4,000 employees vote on strikes over changes to the pension scheme.