To cope with MINI range expansion, capacity at the 'Plant Oxford' MINI assembly plant could come to equal Nissan Sunderland's 301,000-unit 2006 output, according to Frank-Peter Arndt, speaking at Geneva to confirm that a new estate version of the MINI will be branded Clubman and will go on sale in the UK towards the end of this year. Pilot units of the new derivative are already being built at BMW Group’s Plant Oxford in Cowley.
Armed with new second-generation models, MINI was one of the few UK brands to gain ground with a 21% increase in volume to 975 units, in the February UK new car market which was down 3.17% year on year. A year earlier, MINI sales had suffered, relatively speaking, from the run-out of first-generation models.
Talking at the Geneva Motor Show, BMW Group chairman Norbert Reithofer said a third of the Group's models – and significantly many of these will be MINIs – will emit less than 140 g/km CO2 by 2008, according to Die Welt yesterday.