Mini has been making significant alterations to its lineup in recent times. The upcoming electric Mini Cooper three-door is set to deliver far more range, power, and charging capabilities than its predecessor. The Countryman EV plans to provide even healthier charging capabilities in an AWD compact crossover form factor. The British automaker will also release the Aceman, an all-new entry slated to sit between the five-door and the Countryman.
With the new lineup, Mini has made one seemingly peculiar decision though: bringing production to China. Great Wall Motor will produce the Mini Cooper three-door and Aceman models through a joint venture. These models will be built in Zhangjiagang, a city conveniently located along the Yangtze River for easy exports. The three-door model will commence production in China later this year.
While the cost to manufacture in China is less than in the UK, Mini's are famously British. The iconic automaker has even called Oxford its "manufacturing home." A recent investment by the BMW Group signifies that Minis will still contain the firm's DNA. BMW Group recently invested $645 million EV into Mini's UK production facilities.
This investment means that the three-door EV and Aceman will be produced in Mini's UK facilities starting in 2026. Moreover, Mini says it will assemble only EVs in its Oxford assembly location by 2030.
The question of whether this partnership with China’s Great Wall Motor Reportedly Looking To Set Up Luxury EV Brand will be temporary is still unanswered. However, an investment of this magnitude to build EVs in Mini's UK plants could mean that the partnership with Great Wall Motor is necessary for scaling manufacturing before bringing it to its own facilities.
Currently, Mini's Oxford plant is the manufacturing location of the 2024 Cooper SE, though this vehicle will be phased out with the inception of the all-new Hardtop.