BMW is reportedly planning to shift production of future MINI products from Magna Steyr's plant in Austria to a former Mitsubishi factory in the Netherlands. The move will put MINI's production base closer to its suppliers, which are mostly located in and near the UK.
BMW currently relies on Magna to build its Countryman crossover (Magna will also build the coupe version of the Countryman, the Paceman) but those responsibilities will likely shift to Mitsubishi's former NedCar plant in the coming years. The Dutch factory is much closer to MINI's UK supply base, which would help streamline BMW's logistics.
The first MINIs are slated to roll out for the NedCar facility – which is now owned by Dutch group VDL – in 2014. The plant has a total capacity of 200,000 units, but MINI hasn't announced how many vehicles it plans to produce at the facility. The NedCar plant will give relief to MINI's main plant in Oxford, which is running at full capacity.
Despite the split, BMW could turn to Magna for other vehicle production in the future. BMW told Automotive News that it is pleased with Magna's performance and views the company "an important, strategic production partner, with whom we would like to continue working together in the future."