BMW will bring production of the next-generation Mini Countryman in-house due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The current Mini Countryman has been built at the VDL Nedcar facility in the Netherlands since 2016, but in a recent statement, the third-party manufacturer said it will not receive a follow-up order to handle construction of the next Countryman due to the coronavirus pandemic and “disruptive developments.”
“This decision is a disappointment for us and our employees at VDL Nedcar who work with great dedication on building fantastic cars,” president and chief executive of VDL Groep, Willem van der Leegte, said in a statement. “We have done everything in our power to tie BMW to us with a new follow-up order. Due to the spirit of times, this competition was unfortunately not to be won now. In order to ensure long-term employment in Born, we will intensify the search for the filling in of the free production capacity”.
VDL Nedcar’s facility in the Netherlands has the capacity to produce over 200,000 cars per year when operating two shifts and, since being opened in 1967, has produced vehicles for the likes of DAF, Volvo, Smart, Mitsubishi and Mini.
It remains unclear when the next-generation Countryman will launch, as it was recently updated for the 2021 model year with revised styling, new options, and some interior improvements. Consequently, it’s fair to assume that its successor is still a few years away.