So much for the MINI Roadster and MINI Coupe being just ‘Concepts’.
When we reported on the MINI Coupe Concept last week – and subsequently the MINI Roadster leak – MINI were insisting that both the Coupe and Roadster were merely concepts. Well, we took that with a pinch of salt as MINI are capable of producing just about any variant of the MINI they can – MINI Pick-up, anyone?
We’ve seen almost every possible variation of the MINI, and there’s even the MINI 4×4 / Crossover to come (although that now appears to have been shelved until next year).
But now Lord Mandy is busy shouting about how it’s great news that MINI are going to be producing two new cars in the UK. But he’s not just picking up on the ‘Concept’ news floating around. He goes further, saying:
“The production of two new Minis is very good news for Oxford, and for the UK car industry. It’s a demonstration of BMW’s long-term commitment to the UK.
British drivers have had a long love affair with the Mini and I’m sure that this will continue for many years to come.”
Which rather makes it clear that the Government has been told by BMW that the MINI Roadster and MINI Coupe will go in to production sooner rather than later.
It’s reckoned that the new MINIs will create up to 1,000 new jobs at the MINI plant at Oxford, which is great news for the local economy. It’s only five minutes since MINI laid off 850 workers (well, 6 months) due to falling sales, so it looks like they’ll be up for the new positions, and then some.
Another good news car story. Is the world turning round? First we get Lotus taking on new staff to cope with demand for the Lotus Evora, and now MINI are upping their workforce by 25% to cope with the new models.
At this rate the car world may even return to normal.
Update: They probably didn’t have much choice after Lord Mandy jumped on the first bit of good news he’s heard in a while for the beleaguered Government, and told anyone who’d listen that BMW were to make the MINI Coupe and MINI Roadster at Cowley. So BMW has issued a press release confirming the new MINIs will be built in the UK, but didn’t give a start date.
Best they take the ‘Concept’ bit off the posters.