BMW will decide whether to build its new electric Mini car in Britain or elsewhere by the end of September, its board member for sales told Reuters, in a test of the country’s ability to continue to attract investment as it leaves the EU.
Mini makes around 70 percent of its approximately 360,000 compact cars at its Oxford plant in southern England but the car industry is concerned about the effect any loss of unfettered access to the EU, its largest export market, could have on plants after Brexit.
BMW is deciding between its English site, a plant in the Netherlands where it has built more of its conventional line-up in recent years, and its Germany plants at Leipzig and Regensburg for the new low-emissions variant.
The firm’s board member for sales told Reuters that the electric Mini investment, likely to be worth tens of millions of pounds, would come in the next three months and the board was currently considering a number of factors including Brexit.
“One of the elements is what is the likelihood of a tax regime and if there’s a tax regime, how would it apply,” Ian Robertson said during an interview at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in southern England.
He added, in an example of the options companies are examining to plan for any duties or tariffs:
If you made the motor in a German plant and you then assembled the car in a British plant, and you took the cars back to the German market, then the duty that you would pay would be reclaimed.
The automaker is also looking into where the uptake of greener models is strongest and where the best supply chains are, he said.
Note: Parts or all of this report sourced from Reuters News Agency.