BMW says to build new Mini car models in Britain
German car maker BMW said on Thursday it planned to build new models of its Mini brand in Britain, in a further boost to the country's auto manufacturing industry.
BMW will invest £500 million (562 million euros, $822 million) in the project and safeguard 5,000 jobs.
The announcement comes one day after Japanese car giant Nissan said it planned to build the next Qashqai crossover car model in Britain.
"The BMW Group has announced today an additional £500 million investment in its UK production network over the next three years and confirmed that the UK will be a production location for its next generation Mini models," the German giant said in a statement.
The announcement was made by BMW Group chairman Norbert Reithofer in a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London on Thursday.
Cameron also met the board of directors of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) in the British capital.
He told the industry body that the investments by BMW and Nissan were significant boosts to the country's manufacturing industry, while also helping to rebalance an economy heavily dependent on service industries such as banking.
"It's very much part of our ambition as a government to rebalance our economy," Cameron said.
"We've been too reliant on financial services, too reliant on one part of the country. We want to see more manufacturing, and I'm delighted that so many automotive manufacturers are bringing production and supply chain onshore. We want to do everything we can to encourage that."
The new Mini coupe will launch this year and the Mini Roadster in 2012. Both are to be produced in the university city of Oxford, central England.
© 2011 AFP