BMW’s manufacturing facility in Leipzig will kick off production on the successor of the current MINI Countryman, while increasing overall capacity in order to allow for the assembly of e-drive components.
The new model will feature a choice of combustion and electric drive, and will be the first-ever MINI “born in Germany”. Meanwhile, Leipzig will become the group’s first German site to produce both BMW and MINI models.
The Countryman’s successor will also feature a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, as well as both gasoline and diesel power, to go with the electrified variants.
“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,” said the plant’s director, Hans-Peter Kemser. “It is clear evidence of the company’s faith in our expertise and our site, and fantastic news for the future of our plant.”
This site is also the birthplace of BMW Group electromobility – since 2013, it has manufactured over 200,000 all-electric BMW i3 and i3s models. Furthermore, it’s been described as the pilot plant for BMW’s front-wheel drive architecture since it started producing the 2-Series Active Tourer in 2014, which it currently manufactures along with both the front- and all-wheel drive variants of the new BMW 1 Series.
Aside from the next-gen Countryman, MINI will also launch a larger, fully-electric crossover around the same time. That one however could reportedly be built in China.