BMW is on the verge of announcing a multimillion-pound investment in its MINI plant in Oxford, a move that will bring the total investment in the UK automotive sector to over £6 billion and represents a significant vote of confidence in the government’s plans for the industry.
BMW’s decision will secure 4,000 high-quality jobs and bolster the electric vehicle supply chain.
This development follows extensive government engagement and support, with authorities ensuring industry investment by offering assistance for new plants and enhancements.
In addition, last week, Stellantis, the manufacturer of Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroën, and Fiat, unveiled the commencement of electric vehicle production after investing £100 million to transform its Ellesmere Port facility into a global hub exclusively dedicated to electric vehicle production.
Other recent major investments include Tata’s historic £4 billion investment to construct a new battery gigafactory, £1 billion from Nissan and AESC to establish an electric vehicle manufacturing hub in Sunderland, and Ford’s £380 million commitment to transform Halewood into its first electric vehicle components site in Europe.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak remarked, “BMW’s investment is another shining example of how the UK is the best place to build cars of the future. By supporting our automotive industry, we are safeguarding thousands of jobs and boosting our economy nationwide.”
Meanwhile, Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch noted, “BMW’s announcement, coming just a week after the start of electric vehicle production at Stellantis’s Ellesmere Port site, clearly demonstrates that the government’s plan for the automotive sector is delivering results. Through collaboration with the automotive industry, we are securing high-quality jobs and investment, promoting economic growth.”
“Total investment in the UK automotive sector is poised to exceed £6 billion in just the last two years, ensuring a bright and successful future for our automotive industry under this government,” she added.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt affirmed, “The UK has a rich history of manufacturing, and BMW’s investment is a significant vote of confidence in this country as a global leader in electric vehicles. With Stellantis beginning electric vehicle production in Ellesmere Port just last week and Tata’s gigafactory, this industry is thriving, creating thousands of jobs and driving our transition to green energy.”
It’s worth noting that the UK has a comprehensive and long-standing support programme for the automotive sector, including the Advanced Propulsion Centre, the Faraday Battery Challenge, and Driving the Electric Revolution.
Last week, the government announced that it has allocated over £50 million in government funding to 30 cutting-edge manufacturing projects, including rapid-charging motorcycles and autonomous cars, solidifying the UK’s position as one of the world’s top manufacturing destinations.
The government remains committed to the future of manufacturing in the region, maintaining a competitive business environment and reducing the burden on businesses.
The manufacturing sector plays a vital role in the UK’s economy, with the Chancellor identifying advanced manufacturing as one of the country’s five key growth sectors.