BMW boss remains tight-lipped over UK future saying "much will depend" on how Brexit is negotiated

 
Rebecca Smith
BMW has kept its cards close to its chest on where electric versions of its Mini will be manufactured
BMW has kept its cards close to its chest on where electric versions of its Mini will be manufactured (Source: Getty)

BMW's boss has said that while the UK remains important for the firm, "much will depend on how Brexit is ultimately negotiated".

Speaking at the car giant's results today, chief executive Harald Krueger said: "The UK remains an important location for us. Much will depend on how Brexit is ultimately negotiated. At the BMW Group we are preparing for different scenarios."

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There has been concern for the firm's Oxford plant which manufactures most Minis for the company, as BMW mulls building a new electric Mini elsewhere because of Brexit uncertainty.

BMW's first battery-powered version of the car is set to go on sale in 2019, with BMW saying a final decision would be taken this year.

"Our production network offers us flexibility," Krueger said today. "Mini models are also built at VDL Nedcar in Born in the Netherlands. Now China, our new engine plant, the fourth worldwide, began operations in 2016. Our two auto plants in Tiexi and Dadong already produce five models.

"All other sites worldwide provide us with additional flexibility, depending on demand," he added. "In total, our network comprises 31 locations in 14 countries. We have an even balance of production between Germany and the rest of the world. All locations are preparing for electrification of their models and series."

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The car giant has been ramping up its electric focus; for this year it aims to sell 100,000 electrified vehicles and by 2025, electric models and plug-in hybrids are expected to account for around 15 to 25 per cent of sales.

BMW also said it will launch 40 new or revised models by the end of next year and announced plans to ramp up its offensive on "the high-margin upper luxury segment".

Krueger said BMW wants to become "the strongest brand in this segment and significantly increase our sales volumes and revenues here by 2020".

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