MINI TO INVEST £250m IN UK PLANTS
BMW Group is to invest a further £250m in its UK manufacturing operations by the end of 2015 at its plant in Oxford, steel body pressings operation at Swindon and engine plant at Hams Hall near Birmingham.
The cash is to support the company's international growth strategy for MINI with increasing volumes and up to 10 different models in the new line-up in the mid-term.
It comes on top of the £500m UK investment announced in June last year and means additional job security for the company’s 5,500 MINI workers.
The announcement was made during a visit to MINI’s Oxford facility by Business Secretary Vince Cable and BMW board member Harald Krueger.
Krueger said: "A year ago we announced a further investment of £500m in our UK production network by 2014 and today we are announcing an additional £250m, taking us through to 2015.
“This brings the total to £1.75 billion since 2000. Over the last eleven years, MINI has been a unique global success and the BMW Group has even greater plans for the future development of the brand.”
FI STARS THE SHOOT-OUT HEROES
CATERHAM F1 drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov showed Queens Park Rangers stars Djibril Cisse and Clint Hill the coolest way to take a penalty.
The pair gave the QPR boys a taste of the British sports car maker’s Caterham Drive Experience before performing a stunt that involved sliding the rear of the Caterham 7 to rifle a football into the back of the net.
It was the first link-up between Caterham F1, Caterham Cars and QPR since Tony Fernandes acquired both the British sports car maker and Premier League team in summer 2011.
The drive experience is held at several venues across the UK on a variety of dates and anyone with a driving licence can learn how to perform stunts such as drifting and donuts in one of Caterham’s sports cars.
HONDA RAMPS UP THE VALUE
HONDA is celebrating 20 years of UK manufacturing with a range of offers on its popular British-built models.
They include competitive finance options, trim level upgrades, deposit contributions and servicing packages and are available on new cars ordered between now and the end of September.
For instance buyers of the SE+ version of the Honda CR-V will be upgraded to the ES-T variant with the addition of £2,490 worth of extra equipment, including integrated sat-nav, dual zone climate control, heated front seats and front and rear parking sensors.
The summer initiative also includes finance and servicing deals for the Civic family model, Jazz supermini and Insight and CR-Z hybrids.
MERCEDES CELEBRATES SALES BOOST
BRITS love their prestige cars seems to be the message as Mercedes-Benz UK has recorded its strongest-ever registrations in the first half of 2012, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
In the six months to the end of June, a record-breaking 47,245 new cars were registered, up 14 per cent on 2011 - growth that outperforms the overall market and makes Mercedes the fastest-growing major premium car brand in the UK.
The performance was spread across the range, with a trio of cars - C-Class Coupe, CLS four-door coupe and S-Class luxury saloon - all recording year to date results that put them in number one position in their competitive sets.
And nearly 3,000 of the new B-Class models have been registered so far in 2012.
ZOE LANDS DOUBLE GREEN AWARD
MONTHS ahead of UK launch, Renault’s ZOE 100 per cent electric supermini is already on the award-winning trail after driving silently away with a brace of trophies at the Next Green Car Awards 2012.
The French marque’s five-door hatchback triumphed in both the Supermini and Gold Award categories thanks to its zero-emissions in road use and impressive Green Car Rating.
Renault’s electric vehicle programme chief Andy Heiron said: "We're delighted that ZOE has collected not just one, but two awards from Next Green Car, several months before it even launches in the UK; especially the prestigious Next Green Car Gold Award.”
ALFA EXTENDS WARRANTY ON MITO AND GIULETTA
ALFA ROMEO is extending its current three-year warranty by a further two years across the MiTo and Giulietta product ranges to provide retail customers with added peace of mind.
The news comes as the Italian brand launches the Alfa MiTo TwinAir – featuring the award winning 875cc twin-cylinder turbo engine with variable intake valve technology and sub-100g/km CO2 emissions.
The new extended warranty will consist of 36 months’ unlimited mileage warranty, plus a further 24 months’ mechanical warranty on all Alfa MiTo and Giulietta retail purchases.
The additional cover, available until the end of September, protects the vehicle against manufacturer defects and component faults.
MITSUBISHI WELCOMES BACK THE TROJAN
MITSUBISHI has re-introduced of the popular L200 Trojan Double Cab to its current L200 pick-up range.
The model returns with improvements like 30 per cent more power - an increase in the 2.5-litre diesel engine’s output from 136bhp to 175bhp - and 27 per cent more torque from 314Nm to 400Nm.
Two colours, Aztec Red solid and Cosmos Black pearlescent, are available with prices from £17,999 for the L200 2.5 DI-D Trojan Double Cab Manual.