MINI has officially confirmed the launch of the electric Countryman, whose third generation will start manufacturing this year at the BMW plant in Leipzig. This will be the brand’s first model produced entirely in Germany, a milestone that demonstrates the growth experienced by MINI in recent years.
To this day, Leipzig assembles the BMW 1 Series, 2 Series Gran Coupé, and 2 Series Active Tourer. The addition of the MINI Countryman makes all the sense in the world since it will share a platform (FAAR) with all of them. With a workforce of 5,600 employees, the facility produces approximately 1,000 vehicles per day.
This will be the first factory from which BMW and MINI models will be produced indistinctly. The electric Countryman will hit assembly lines by the end of the year; In addition, its batteries will come from the same factory, which has four 190-meter-high wind turbines and a storage park with 700 BMW i3 packs.
The BMW Group will expand the Leipzig capacity for the production of electronic components to eight lines by 2024, which will entail an investment of more than 800 million euros. The area of 150,000 square meters in which the electronic components will be manufactured will employ 1,000 workers.
The MINI Countryman will be closely related to the BMW X1/iX1
“We are delighted to be able to deliver to our customers the first carbon-neutral MINI ‘Made in Germany’ thanks to the plant’s sustainable energy supply. In this way, the new all-electric MINI Countryman demonstrates what the brand stands for: electrified karting feeling and a strong focus on a minimal environmental footprint,” says Stefanie Wurst, MINI Director.
Petra Peterhaensel, director of the plant, adds that “our vision for Leipzig is the complete decarbonization of production by replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen. At the BMW Group plant in Leipzig, we are the first automotive plant in the world to use a newly developed burner technology in our paint shop that can use green hydrogen instead of natural gas.
Hydrogen has already been used in the plant’s logistics since 2013. Today, five hydrogen filling stations power more than 130 fuel cell-powered industrial trucks, the largest fleet in Germany.” It is confirmed that the new electric MINI Countryman will share its mechanical organs with the BMW iX1.