Business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch hailed the investment as “a big vote of confidence in the UK economy and the work of this government to ensure the continued strength of our world-beating automotive sector”.
She said: “We’re proud to be able to support BMW Group’s investment, which will secure high-quality jobs, strengthen our supply chains and boost Britain’s economic growth.”
No battery supplier has been named for the Oxford-built EVs, but the BMW Group already works with Samsung and CATL, the latter of which is building a battery factory in Germany.
This year marks 110 years of the plant (sometimes known as Cowley), which pioneered mass production in the UK with the Morris ‘Bullnose’ saloon before the outbreak of World War I. Cowley was also home to Morris Minor production for more than two decades.
It started producing the BMW Group’s first Mini in 2000 and 19 years later began building the electric version of the current hatch.
That accounted for a quarter of the plant’s output last year, making it the UK’s biggest producer of EVs. Some 3400 people are employed there.
Mini boss Stefanie Wurst said: “To people in the UK, I can still see that Mini is regarded as your baby, because it was born there and has been there for a long time. We still call Oxford the heart of our brand. I hope and I think we take good care of it. Mini has a very strong heritage, and that is being modernised and given a future now, and I hope that aspect is felt in the UK as well.”