BMW will build elec­tric Mini in U.K.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

FRANKFURT, Ger­many — Ger­many’s BMW will make the elec­tric ver­sion of its Mini com­pact cars at its fac­tory in Ox­ford, Eng­land, a de­ci­sion that comes at a time when au­tomak­ers are scru­ti­niz­ing in­vest­ment plans be­cause of Bri­tain’s im­pend­ing de­par­ture from the Euro­pean Union.

BMW AG said Tues­day that the bat­tery-pow­ered Mini would be based on the three-door model. Most of those are al­ready made at the Ox­ford plant. The elec­tric driv­e­train is to be made in Ger­many at fac­to­ries in Land­shut and Din­golf­ing.

The com­pany said it had nei­ther sought nor re­ceived as­sur­ances that it would not be hit with bor­der taxes when it ships parts to Bri­tain. Cur­rently Bri­tain en­joys tar­iff-free trade with the other 27 EU mem­bers. Bri­tain’s fu­ture trade re­la­tion­ship with the EU is un­cer­tain and will be the topic of com­plex ne­go­ti­a­tions. The two sides have un­til March 2019 to reach a new agree­ment, un­less an ex­ten­sion is agreed.

BMW is push­ing to in­clude more elec­tric ve­hi­cles in its lineup by of­fer­ing hy­brid and bat­tery-only models of ex­ist­ing diesel and gaso­line cars. The auto in­dus­try is un­der pres­sure to come up with low-emis­sions cars to meet tighter gov­ern­ment pol­lu­tion stan­dards.

Com­pany spokesman Emma Be­g­ley said the com­pany had to make its de­ci­sion based on the in­for­ma­tion cur­rently avail­able.

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