About 800 jobs have been safeguarded at BMW’s engine plant at Hams Hall – ending speculation over the long-term future of one of the region’s biggest industrial sites.
The German car-maker has unveiled a multi-million pound upgrade to the engine facility, near Coleshill, with diesel assembly introduced for the first time.
The investment will pave the way for a new generation of low-emission petrol and diesel engines, and secures the future of the North Warwickshire complex.
Speculation surrounding the long-term viability of the engine plant has been mounting since the worst recession for decades struck the automotive sector.
Unions issued a statement welcoming the BMW announcement. Unite regional officer Simon Powell said: “The workforce at the Birmingham site deserve recognition for their efforts and expertise over the last ten years.
“Unite representatives worked with the local management team to agree a viable bid to put to the BMW board, giving the company confidence to invest in the UK plant. There are around 800 employees at the plant who now have a long-term future.”
The development of new production facilities comes on top of the £500 million investment in its MINI production operations in the UK announced in June.
Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW AG board member for production, said: “We will install a highly flexible production system that will ensure the Hams Hall site remains as a state-of-the-art facility, reinforcing the long-term future of the plant and securing the jobs at Hams Hall.
“The new manufacturing facilities will allow the assembly of diesel, as well as petrol engines, for the first time in the plant’s ten-year history.”
Business Minister Mark Prisk said: “The introduction of new state-of-the-art production facilities is great news for Hams Hall and its workforce.
"This investment in addition to the £500 million already announced by BMW in June is a resounding vote of confidence not just for Hams Hall but for the whole UK automotive sector.”