This just in: two new MINIs are to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Could the Coupe be a go?
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson says "The production of two new Minis is very good news for Oxford and for the UK car industry." That's for sure. It proves BMW is putting its money on the success of the MINI brand. BMW has not said exactly how many extra workers will be needed to make the new models, but sources close to the company told the BBC at least 1,000 positions would be created at the MINI plant in Oxfordshire, UK.
This, of course, lends more speculation as to whether or not they are going to launch the Coupe, which will debut in its early design form at the Frankfurt Auto Show on September 15. There has been much debate over the Net as to the look of the thing; some good, some bad.
The plant has certainly seen its ups and downs. Back in February angry mobs clamored about the place when 850 jobs were cut at the site. The plant also shut down for a week in June due to a strike in France that had been supplying them with bearings for the cars steering units. Since then, most of the laid off workers have been rehired as sales have risen, helped by the surge in global demand for smaller cars. Now, the future looks even brighter.
Graham Biggs, corporate communication director for BMW UK, said: "I think bringing these two new models to Oxford is a great sign to the Oxford area, to all the workers here at the plant, that the future for Mini and for this operation is very bright indeed. It is 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."
It is thought production of the new models will not start for another year, according to the BBC. And as soon as the new models are unveiled, we'll have them here!
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