02/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 03:03

BMW to make supercar engine in UK

Category: England

Published: 12th Jun 2012 13:38:56

BMW has said it will produce the engine for its i8 petrol-electric supercar in the UK.

The car's three-cylinder petrol engine will be made at the carmaker's Hams Hall factory near Birmingham.

The engine is designed to extend the plug-in hybrid's range beyond that supplied by its batteries.

Business secretary Vince Cable described the announcement as "more good news for the UK automotive sector".

"It is yet another indication that international companies see the UK as one of the best places to develop and manufacture low emission vehicle technologies," he said, insisting that it "underlines our competitive strength".

BMW's plug-in sportscar will go on sale in 2013, offering "sportscar performance with small car fuel consumption", BMW Group's sales and marketing director Ian Robertson said in a briefing at the annual motor industry gathering organised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The car is designed to accelerate from nought to 62mph (100km/h) in five seconds while also having the potential to deliver 78mpg (3 litres/100km). When using just the battery, the car's range is about 20 miles.

The plan to make the car's petrol engine in the Midlands is part of a £500m ($777m) investment in the UK that BMW announced a year ago.

Over the last year or so there's been significant investment in the UK, probably more than in the last decade”

On Wednesday, the carmaker will open a showroom in London dedicated to sell cars from its i-division which focuses on electric and hybrid cars.

BMW's investment, in turn, is part of a total £5.6bn of investment in UK car production announced by global automotive groups over the last couple of years, said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

"We're going through quite a remarkable period in the UK at the moment," he said.

The success of the UK's motor industry is a welcome turnaround from 2009, when the government introduced a scrappage scheme to help the sector through a crisis.

"Over the last year or so there's been significant investment in the UK, probably more than in the last decade," said BMW's Mr Robertson, referring to how a string of carmakers such as Nissan, Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover, Vauxhall and Mini, have seen their manufacturing output in Britain soar during the last couple of years.

By the end of 2015, UK production may have risen to more than two million cars from 1.3 million last year, thus beating the previous record of 1.92 million cars made in 1972, the SMMT predicts.

But current growth is no guarantee of future success, Mr Robertson cautioned.

"We must never be complacent," he said.

"This is one of the most competitive industries in the world."

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. BMW to make supercar engine in UK [Online] (Updated 12th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1434126/BMW-to-make-supercar-engine-in-UK [Accessed 2nd Aug 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • New ENO music director pledges to take risks despite cuts

    The incoming music director of the English National Opera (ENO) has said the company will keep taking risks in spite of funding cuts.
  • Barry gardener's leg surgery after false widow spider bite

    A gardener says he feared losing his leg after being bitten by a false widow spider hiding in a Vale of Glamorgan shed.
  • World War One: The speech that made the case for war

    One hundred years ago this summer Britain and her Empire stood on the brink of war. Frantic last-minute diplomacy had come to nothing - and armies were mobilising across Europe.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Uber app 'competing unfairly', Margaret Hodge claims

    The Uber taxi app is "competing unfairly" with London's black cabs, senior Labour MP Margaret Hodge says.
  • Manchester Albert Square cobbles recorded ahead of tram link

    Hundreds of cobbles in a Manchester square are to be photographed to ensure they are returned in the same position once a new tram link has been built.