By on November 29, 2012

The long rumored move to build MINI vehicles at Mitsubishi’s Dutch plant has finally come to pass. Starting in the second half of 2014, MINI vehicles will be built at the former home of the Mitsubishi Charisma and Volvo S40.

Automotive News reports that a Dutch consortium known as the VDL Group will take over the plant and provide manufacturing to BMW under contract. Production capacity was not announced. The company hasn’t announced which vehicles will be built at Nedcar either. Nedcar joins the Magna-Steyr outfit in Austria (which builds the Countryman and Paceman) as the second non-English production site for Mini.

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10 Comments on “MINI To Begin Production At Nedcar...”

  • avatar

    Then that will make the Mini about as “British” as the Fiat 500 is “Italian” (at least on our shores)…the lines of origin/manufacture continue to blur…

    • 0 avatar

      The European spec Fiat 500 is built in Poland.

    • 0 avatar

      Mini’s engines have always come from the Chrysler-BMW JV in Brazil. I don’t see why the country of final assembly is even an issue anymore with so many globally-sourced parts.

      • 0 avatar

        Not so. Peugeot makes the MINI engine since about 2006, whenever the Mark II came out. The original souped-up MINI engine from Chrysler Brazil had a supercharger, newer one a turbo.

      • 0 avatar


        That hasn’t been true for years. Most MINI engines are now built at BMW’s Hams Hall plant in Warwickshire, England (as in the UK).

        The situation is understandable – BMW needs additional MINI capacity outside the UK.

        BMW Plant Oxford in Cowley is simply too small – it was massively downsized under Rover Group in the 1990s, when the plan was to build only larger executive cars there. The older buildings were torn down, more modern structures were built, and the site was consolidated, with most of the vacated land being sold off. The plant is now hemmed in by new development on all sides, making it impossible to re-expand, and the existing facility is running over-capacity. The excess has to be shifted somewhere.

        Rover’s original plan was to build the MINI at Longbridge (where the classic Mini was made) and had totally rebuild and modernized Car Assembly B to house it. However, that plant was kept by MG Rover in the breakup, so the MINI tooling was packed up and shipped to Oxford and the Rover 75 tooling was dismantled and moved to Longbridge. That left MG Rover with a massive, sprawling plant that they were never able to fill and BMW with the tiny, constrained plant that is now maxed out.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Wow! England is the UK (Snark) The whole goat rope of plant grabbing and moving about of tooling is showing a dead company can still twitch. Did Rover want blackmail money for the Longbridge plant or did they think they could build competitive executive saloons?

      • 0 avatar

        @el scotto

        I put that because, in my experience, even some people in the UK need to be reminded from time to time what country they belong to, but that’s a whole other issue beyond cars.

        I forget the exact circumstances, but it was definately cheaper to to the MINI/75 switch than the other way around. If MG Rover had kept Cowley, then the Rover 45, Rover 25, and MG F would have all had to be relocated and squeezed in there. Plus, although the Oxford plant is much closer in size to MG Rover’s actual sales volumes in total unit capacity, it may not have had room for several parallel production lines.

        Also, BMW wasn’t projecting the level of volume MINI wound up hitting in short order, so they probably felt like the plant would be sufficient.

        As it happens, Car Assembly B was never used. The plant was totally rebuilt and retooled in 2000, the MINI tooling was installed, then immediately disassembled and moved before production started. MG Rover kept the building mothballed for future use, as it was the most modern part of the complex, but never actually needed it. Nanjing, and now SAIC, have also kept the the place on stand-by, but have only been using Assembly A. At one point, there was a plan to use CAB B to build the TF’s bodyshells, but that never happened.

      • 0 avatar

        “BMW has announced a partnership with French automaker Peugeot to produce a line of four-cylinder engines that will power the redesigned 2008 MINI as well as future Peugeot and Citroen vehicles. Engine parts will be made at Peugeot’s Douvrin plant in France while the powerplants will be assembled at separate facilities located near each car company’s car manufacturing plants.”

        Which no doubt explains why the US Monroney sticker on the MINI says 30% France content, even if Hams Hall screws the bits together. Probably just dressing the long block with BMW bits and getting someone with a handfile to remove any PSA part numbers!

        Just joking.

        Since the MINI engine (non-turbo) is Valvetronic completely variable intake valve timing and lift, perhaps BMW makes those bits itself, hence the confusion on provenance. Certainly not engineered in the UK.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    @ranwhenparked Thanks for the info, you have in-depth knowledge

  • avatar

    I’m assuming this is the original home of DAF Auto. Sold to Volvo in the 70’s for production of the 343. The Dutch don’t have much love in their hearts for cars. Batavus & Gazelle mean far more.. My guess would be government sponsorship to keep manufacturing jobs via a third party.

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