By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 04 February 2023 • 17:06
Mini - Image Aukirk / Shutterstock.com
According to Sky News on Saturday, February 4 the company is in talks to secure funding from Whitehall’s Automotive Transformation Fund.
The application is said to have the support of both the business secretary and the chancellor, with talks possibly being finalised within weeks.
What isn´t clear is how the funding will be used and when it would be used, but it would provide a major boost for an industry that has just experienced its worst output since the 50s.
Production in 2022 dropped nearly 10 per cent falling to around 775,000 vehicles according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Supply chain issues and BREXIT have all impacted on the industry, which is struggling to return to pre-pandemic levels of production. To make matters worse Britishvolt, the electric vehicle battery manufacturer that hoped to supply the local industry has collapsed.
The Financial Times has reported that Australian company Recharge Industries is currently the administrator’s preferred bidder.
BMW, which employs 4,000 people at the plant, is said to be committed to the UK although it had indicated in 2021 that it would produce the electric mini elsewhere.
Then it said the electric mini would be built in China, however, with the world a different place it is thought the company has revisited its plans.
Neither the government nor BMW would comment on the talks, which if successful could see electric minis being built in the UK.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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