In an effort to give themselves greater flexibility with their own resources, many car manufacturers employ the services of contract manufacturers. Contract manufacturer and tier-one OEM supplier Magna has had a long-standing relationship with BMW, currently building the Mini Countryman compact crossover and two-door Paceman. Production of the two larger Mini models is scheduled to move to Mini’s main production plant in Oxford, England in 2016, but that won’t be the end of BMW and Magna’s manufacturing relationship. Magna released a statement saying that it will continue to do contract manufacturing for BMW after 2016.
Neither BMW nor Magna has publicly said what model will be built once Countryman and Paceman production moves to England. The cars could be any vehicle within the BMW family, which could include BMW, Mini or Rolls-Royce, although an Austrian-built Rolls seems unlikely. The company also previously built the BMW X3, before production moved to South Carolina for the second-generation model.
The Graz newspaper Kleine Zeitung has speculated 3 or 5 Series cars or other high-volume models could be built by Magna at the plant, but that capacity is being reserved for several different models, depending on demand.