Production of the Mini Countryman will begin in India later this year, marking the first time the BMW-owned British brand has manufactured vehicles outside Europe.
The Mini One Countryman and Cooper D Countryman will be the first models produced at BMW’s Chennai plant as the company looks to meet increasing demand for Mini cars in India.
Destined for domestic customers only, local Mini assembly comes just one year after the brand opened its first five dealerships in India at the beginning of 2012.
The Mini Countryman will be built alongside the BMW 3 Series, 5 Series and X1 and X3 SUVs at the 13,000-square-metre production facility located in the Mahindra World City business zone in the southwest of India, approximately 40km northwest of Chennai.
Mini says its international production capacity ramp up is aimed at providing rapid and flexible supply to its growing number of customers in emerging markets.
Mini sales increased 5.8 per cent in 2012 to 301,526 units, with markets in the Asian and American continents leading the way.
The Chennai production plant joins Mini’s production triangle in Britain – which comprises the Oxford assembly plant, Hams Hall engine factory and the Swindon press shop – and Magna Steyr’s plant in Graz, Austria, which produces the Countryman and Paceman.