Page last updated at 13:34 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 14:34 UK

Jobs boost with new Mini models

The new Mini coupe concept will be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show

Two new models of the Mini are to be built at BMW's plant in Oxfordshire, the carmaker has said.

Two new Minis - one a coupe - are to be produced at the company's factory in Cowley, near Oxford. The new models will be unveiled on 15 September.

About 4,000 staff work at Cowley, building three versions of the Mini. Up to 1,000 new jobs could be created.

In February, there were angry scenes when 850 jobs were cut at the site, which also closed for a week.

Most of the laid off workers have since been rehired as sales have risen, helped by a surge in global demand for smaller cars.

Production of Minis was also suspended in June because of a strike in France involving a firm which supplies bearings for the cars' steering units.

'Long love affair'

BMW has not said exactly how many extra workers will be needed to make the new models, but sources close to the company told the BBC at least 1,000 positions would be created.

The new Minis will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Graham Biggs, corporate communication director for BMW UK, said: "I think bringing these two new models to Oxford is a great sign to the Oxford area, to all the workers here at the plant, that the future for Mini and for this operation is very bright indeed."

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: "The production of two new Minis is very good news for Oxford and for the UK car industry.

"It is a demonstration of BMW's long-term commitment to the UK.

"British drivers have had a long love affair with the Mini and I'm sure that this will continue for many years to come."

It is thought production of the new models will not start for another year.



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