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Mini suspends production at Oxford factory due to chip shortage

Mini suspends production at its Oxford car factory this week due to ongoing shortage of semiconductors

  • Cowley factory has been closed since Monday, parent group BMW confirmed
  • Plant Oxford will remain shut up to and including Friday due to shortage of chips
  • It is not the first time the lack of semiconductors has halted its assembly lines
  • Mini was forced to pause outputs in April and May last year for the same issue 


Car maker Mini has suspended production at its Oxford car plant this week due to the global shortage of semiconductor chips, it has been confirmed.

Parent group BMW said the Cowley factory closed on Monday and will remain shut up to and including Friday.

It is not the first time the lack of supply of computer chips has halted assembly lines at the Oxford facility, with Mini forced to pause outputs for three days across April and May last year for the same issue.

Car maker Mini has suspended production at its Oxford factory this week due to the ongoing global shortage of semiconductor chips

Commenting on the suspension of production this week, BMW bosses said: ‘We are monitoring the situation very closely and are in constant communication with our associates and suppliers.’

An official statement from the car maker added: ‘Plant Swindon and Plant Hams Hall have also been affected however not exactly in the same way – a small number of shifts have been impacted in specific areas and this has been communicated locally to our associates.

‘The BMW Group expects the supply situation for semiconductor components to remain difficult and cannot rule out the possibility of this impacting sales during the rest of the year.

‘There may also be some impact on the availability of specific equipment, due to the semiconductor supply bottlenecks. Together with our retail partners, we aim to offer our customers viable, alternative equipment variants to continue to ensure a high degree of individualisation in our vehicles.’ 

The Cowley plant currently employs around 3,800 staff, though reports claim the closure during the week will be no impact to their pay. 

Mini was the UK’s third biggest car maker in 2021, producing 186,762 vehicles in total during the year. Only Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan build more motors in Britain than the iconic brand. 

It is not the first time the lack of supply of computer chips has halted assembly lines at the Oxford facility, with Mini forced to pause outputs for three days across April and May last year for the same issue

It is not the first time the lack of supply of computer chips has halted assembly lines at the Oxford facility, with Mini forced to pause outputs for three days across April and May last year for the same issue

The Cowley plant currently employs around 3,800 staff, though reports claim the closure during the week will be no impact to their pay

The Cowley plant currently employs around 3,800 staff, though reports claim the closure during the week will be no impact to their pay

Prince Charles pictured during a visit to the Mini car factory in June last year

Prince Charles pictured during a visit to the Mini car factory in June last year

The site produces the Mini Hatch, including the Mini Electric, as well as the Clubman estate.

The shortage of semiconductor chips has affected all vehicle manufacturers, and has been blamed for limiting the industry’s recovery from the pandemic.

It has also caused second-hand car prices to spiral in the last nine months.

Those unable to get their hands on a new Mini and have instead turned to the used market will find that a three-year-old petrol Cooper model with 30,000 miles on the clock will cost 37 per cent – or £4,055 – more than a year ago.

> Read our latest exclusive report on record second-hand car prices 

The site produces the Mini Hatch, including the Mini Electric (pictured), as well as the Clubman estate

The site produces the Mini Hatch, including the Mini Electric (pictured), as well as the Clubman estate

Mini was the UK's third biggest car maker in 2021, producing 186,762 vehicles in total during the year

Mini was the UK’s third biggest car maker in 2021, producing 186,762 vehicles in total during the year



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