BMW AG plans further developments of its Mini brand and has announced that a sports activity vehicle (SAV) version will be built by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria. Mini Design and BMW Group engineers are jointly responsible for the vehicle concept, which they state will be a “true Mini,” with Magna Steyr looking after series development and subsequent production.
BMW has given few details of the SAV, which will have all-wheel-drive capability and is likely to be in production by about the turn of the decade. Engines are expected to be a choice of gasoline and diesel.
Involvement with Magna Steyr is regarded by BMW as an efficient way of achieving planned profitable growth through new model launches. The base Mini, along with Clubman and Convertible versions, is built at the Mini plant near Oxford, England. These are regarded as the three core models. But outsourcing production of the SAV will enable BMW to increase flexibility within its own production network.
As lead plant for Mini, the Oxford facility will be able to fully direct its midterm capacity of 260,000 units toward meeting demand for the core models. Outsourcing SAV production makes the extension of the Mini family possible. Said Frank-Peter Arndt, Head of Production and Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG: “By using Magna Steyr for production, we are able to give our own production network some breathing space to respond fully to market needs. This solution will also allow us to bring the Mini SAV to the market as quickly as possible.”
Magna Steyr is established as a close partner of BMW, particularly through production of the X3 SUV.
BMW has made it clear that it will be very “hands-on” throughout the development and manufacturing process. In a statement, the company said that as with all its partnerships, BMW would steer all aspects concerning the brand and the concept of the SAV project. It will perform the majority of drivetrain development and will write the contracts for suppliers. However, Magna will be responsible for delivery by suppliers of parts and components to the factory.