BMW has announced today it is investing a further £250 million into its Mini production in the United Kingdom.
The money will be spent on production of its Mini model over the next three years at Oxford, Swindon, and Birmingham.
It comes on top of the £500m investment announced in June last year and gives job security to 5,500 workers.
The announcement was made as business secretary Vince Cable is to visit the Cowley plant today when the Olympic torch passes by the plant.
Harald Krueger, member of the board of management at BMW Group, said: “Over the last decade, MINI has been a unique global success and the BMW Group has even greater plans for the future development of the brand.
“Plant Oxford has played a major role in this with cars being exported to over 100 countries around the world.
“This additional investment is great news for all our employees in the UK and shows the BMW Group’s commitment to Britain as a vital manufacturing base for us.”
Mr Krüger said part of the investment would go towards the production of the new generation of Mini between now and 2015 and modernisation of the production facilities at Cowley.
He added: "We will continue to produce the core and high-volume MINI models here in Oxford and utilise the plant’s full capacity.
"As I already mentioned, we have very ambitious growth plans for MINI. They will exceed the production volume we can handle here at the Oxford plant.
"The extra volume and the complexity of new model lines mean additional flexibility and production capacity is needed within a short time frame. The BMW Group is therefore considering how best to meet the ever-growing customer demand for MINI.
"One option is to establish a satellite production operation at NedCar in The Netherlands. We are in contact with NedCar regarding potential contract manufacturing.
"This additional production capacity means even more flexibility for MINI volume beyond our maximum capacity in Oxford.
"NedCar would be a good partner for us. A glance at the map shows the relative geographical proximity to our plants here in the UK would offer significant benefits in terms of logistics.
"Over the medium to long term, we aim to focus on two production locations for MINI: the UK and The Netherlands.
"At the same time, we at the BMW Group will continue to develop our established, and important, cooperation with our strategic partner Magna Steyr in Austria.
"This development would create the opportunity for extra volume for our engine plant in Hams Hall and our pressings operations in Swindon as well as for our UK-based MINI suppliers.
"One thing remains certain: Oxford, with its experienced and highly-skilled team, will remain the international hub and centre of excellence for MINI manufacturing.
"Oxford is to MINI what Munich is to BMW Oxford is, and will remain, the 'heart of MINI'.
"Next year, the Oxford plant will celebrate its 100-year-old success story. It can look back on an impressive past – and, I can promise you, with everything we have planned for MINI – it can also look forward to a great future."