By on April 30, 2012

Could BMW be acquiring the soon-to-be-shuttered Nedcar plant, which formerly built the Volvo S40 and Mitsubishi Colt? Dutch website Nu.nl seems to think so.

Nu is reporting that Nedcar executives have given tours of the plant to their BMW counterparts, in advance of takeover talks. BMW is especially interested in building the BMW X5, BMW X1 and Mini Countryman at the plant, using the same lines that built the Colt and Mitsubishi Outlander.

BMW is having trouble keeping up with demand for both cars, especially the hot-selling X1, set to make its American debut this summer. Nedcar is capable of a maximum output of 200,000 cars per year, but only produced 23,000 in 2011. Apparently the arrangement would involve BMW renting space from Dutch industrial group VDL, rather than an outright purchase. VDL, based in Eindhoven, would take over the plant assuming BMW uses it for production, and the Dutch government would then have to pay the salaries of 1,500 workers who would be jobless in between Mitsubishi’s 2013 departure and the resumption of production at Nedcar.

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6 Comments on “BMW May Takeover Nedcar Plant...”


  • avatar
    ragav

    GM would be very happy to sell either their Bochum,Germany or Port Ellesmere assembly plant . If BMW buys Bochum,they get to consolidate production in Germany and if they buy Prt Ellesmere, they will get Europe’s most productive assembly plant and Opel will be able to breathe easy.

  • avatar
    nvdw

    Derek,

    Being a Dutchman and owning two cars once built there, I’ve been following this news with major interest. BMW has denied any takeover plans so far, but has admitted it has paid several visits to Nedcar.

    However, BMW would not be acquiring Nedcar itself. The Eindhoven-based industrial group VDL has already put out a press statement that it has plans to take Nedcar out of Mitsubishi’s hands in 2014. VDL has stated that these plans depend on both the willingness of a manufacturer to rent production space (that would be BMW) and the Dutch state providing a year’s worth of salaries for the 1,500 employees, since Mitsubishi will leave Nedcar early 2013.

  • avatar
    nvdw

    The primary source for all the news was the NOS, the Dutch broadcasting service: http://nos.nl/artikel/367124-vdl-nedcar-praten-over-overname.html

    VDL Groep’s short statement (in Dutch, not yet in English) can be found here: http://www.vdlgroep.com/?news/1051202/VDL+Groep+voert+gesprekken+met+en+over+NedCar.aspx

    The regional newspaper De Limburger has more details on the proposed deal: http://www.limburger.nl/article/20120428/REGIONIEUWS01/120429569/1008

  • avatar
    th009

    This is one way to resolve the “European overcapacity problem”: sell idle plants to those companies which have products that customers actually want to buy.

    P.S. Grammar nit of the day: “Takeover” is a noun, the verb form is “take over”.

    • 0 avatar
      nvdw

      Well, the main problem is, you don’t just buy the Nedcar plant. As long as you pay just one euro to Mitsubishi, it’s yours. The problem is: you’ll have to “buy” the employees as well, ie their contracts and all associated social security fees (pensions and suchlike). I’ve read multiple times a good chunk of the workforce is close to reaching a pension-eligible age. With the little details of the deal that have been made public so far, it seems both BMW and VDL want to offload most of those risks to the government.

      BMW is in a good position to get the best bargain out of their supposed capacity problems: all the independent contractors that are still left (most have closed up shop!) anyone could do with extra cars. The Mini Countryman is now built at Magna Steyr in Austria (which used to assemble Jeeps and Chryslers until recently) and BMW seems to (re)negotiate with Magna as well.


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