Mini enthusiasts have reacted with anger to news that 70 per cent of the new model will come from abroad.
As production of the old Mini ends after 41 years, we can reveal that its replacement is to be a hotpotch of parts made in SIX different countries.
It is due on sale next summer and will be made at new owner BMW's Oxford plant - but 70 per cent of the car will come from abroad.
The new Mini's Tritec engine is being built in Brazil, the wiring will come from Italy and the car's six-speed gearbox, rear axle and suspension will come from Germany.
Along with this, the dashboard fascia is being produced in Eastern Europe - most likely in Hungary and the windows will be made in France.
And what's left will come from Britain.
BMW chairman Professor Joachim Milberg says most parts have to be produced in Europe because of the strength of the pound, but the news was greeted with dismay by union leaders and Mini enthusiasts.
Sir Ken Jackson, general secretary of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union, said: "We have always understood that the new Mini would be 75 per cent British-made. If it is less than that, then we will want to discuss this with BMW."
The British Mini Club is considering banning the new car if its bears a BMW badge. Spokesman David Hollis said: "They have bought the name but they can't deny or alter the car's British heritage and tradition.
"If it is sold as a BMW, we will have nothing to do with it and will advise our 200-plus clubs across the world to do the same."
The revelations come just four days after the final old-style British Mini rolled off the production line at Longbridge, Birmingham.
To music from The Italian Job, singer Lulu drove the last of the 5,387,862 cars off the line.
The question is: Will the new Mini ever hit such high notes?
Written By: IC Motoring
Article Date: Oct 11, 2000