BMW to stop production at Dutch car plant, threatening thousands of jobs

The Mini production line in Born. Photo: Niels Wenstedt ANP XTRA
The Mini production line in Born. Photo: Niels Wenstedt ANP XTRA

German car maker BMW is to stop making cars at the VDL Nedcar plant in Born, the Limburg-based factory said on Thursday.

Instead, BMW plans to concentrate production at its own factories, including that of the Mini, which is currently produced in the Netherlands.

VDL chief executive Willem van der Leegte has described the decision as a ‘disappointment’. ‘We have done everything in our power to tie BMW to us with a new follow-up order,’ he said in a press statement.

VDL Nedcar has been building Minis and BMW’s X1 models for six years.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the car industry and many carmakers are having to cope with overcapacity. The shift towards electric cars – which require fewer people to produce – is another issue, director Paul van Vuuren told local broadcaster Limburg 1.

The plant employs 4,600 people and VDL must now find a new client to keep the factory open when BMW production stops in 2023.

The company is pinning its hopes on a new entrant to the market, which has developed a car but not a production line, Van Vuuren said.

The Dutch factory, the only large scale passenger car production factory in the country, is capable of producing some 200,000 cars a year.

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