In 2023 the first MINI “born in Germany” will roll off the assembly lines at BMW Group Plant Leipzig. Following a decision by the BMW Group, production of the all-new successor to the current MINI Countryman will be contracted out to the facility in Saxony, making it the BMW Group’s first German site to produce both BMW and MINI vehicles. As it will be manufacturing both the combustion- and electrically powered versions of the forthcoming MINI crossover, Plant Leipzig has been the subject of an investment programme to ensure suitable expansion of its production capacity, including e-drive component assembly.
The realignment of the MINI product portfolio will see the brand strengthen its commitment to electromobility and the crossover segment, which continues to grow around the world. The successor to the popular MINI Countryman will come with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, with highly efficient petrol or diesel engines, or an all-electric drive. BMW Group Plant Leipzig will launch production of the forthcoming generation of crossovers for the premium compact segment in 2023.
“Over the last few years, we have worked continuously to lead our plant into a successful future. This contract to produce the successor to the MINI Countryman gives us another major milestone to work towards,” says Hans-Peter Kemser, Director of BMW Group Plant Leipzig. “It is clear evidence of the company’s faith in our expertise and our site, and fantastic news for the future of our plant.”
Since opening in 2005, Plant Leipzig has constantly increased its production capacity. The latest investment programme to reach completion comprised extensions and upgrades to the body and paint shops, assembly and logistics, and totalled around €300 million. With production capacity now at more than 350,000 units per year, BMW Group Plant Leipzig has the best possible prerequisites for expanding its product portfolio to include the new MINI model.
Thanks to its extremely flexible production processes, BMW Group Plant Leipzig will be able to deliver a wide variety of drives for the forthcoming generation of the MINI Countryman. Since launching production of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in 2014, it has become the pilot plant for BMW’s state-of-the-art front-wheel drive architecture. It currently manufactures the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, and both the front- and all-wheel drive variants of the new BMW 1 Series.
The site in Saxony is also the birthplace of BMW Group electromobility. Since 2013, it has manufactured over 200,000 all-electric BMW i3 (fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km; electricity consumption combined: 13.1 kWh/100 km; CO 2 emissions combined: 0 g/km) and BMW i3s (fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km; electricity consumption combined: 14.6 – 14 kWh/100 km; CO 2 emissions combined: 0 g/km) vehicles.
In the years ahead, the team’s experience in electromobility will come to bear even more, as a further investment of more than €100 million is now adding an assembly facility for e-drive components to BMW Group Plant Leipzig. Due to go on stream as early as 2021, the new facility will make Plant Leipzig a member of the BMW Group’s international production network for high-voltage batteries. It will cover an area of some 10,000 square metres and run a highly automated process to assemble lithium-ion cells brought in from suppliers into standardised battery modules. These will then be combined to create model-specific battery packs for BMW and MINI cars. So the electrified variants of the forthcoming successor to the current MINI Countryman will be made in Leipzig and fitted with locally assembled battery modules.