Production has started in Oxford of the new MINI 5-door Hatch, which will go on sale in the autumn.
The new 5-door – 161mm longer than the three-door, with three rear seats – is a first for MINI production at the Oxford plant and marks another phase in the roll-out of a £750 million investment programme across BMW Group UK’s production facilities from 2011 to 2015.
The car comes hot on the heels of the new MINI Hatch, which was launched in November. The 5-door, which will go on sale in the autumn, is a new addition to the family of MINIs made in Oxford and opens up a whole new market segment.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The launch of the all-new 5-door MINI is a further boost for the UK’s manufacturing sector, and will help to secure jobs in Oxford and Swindon as part of BMW’s £750 million investment programme in the UK. BMW’s continued commitment and investment in the UK underlines the continuing success story that is UK automotive manufacturing.
“Through the UK Government’s industrial strategy we are backing the auto sector as it goes from strength to strength. We are providing the right environment to give businesses the confidence to invest and create high skilled jobs.”
The 5-door is the second member of the MINI family to be built on a new platform. The innovative approach to design increases the flexibility of the body manufacturing process, allowing more models of greater variation to be produced more efficiently, an essential element of the MINI’s build-to-order appeal.