“There are major investments taking place and going to take place,” she said, hinting that a mid-life facelift for the models in around 2027 will provide an opportunity for the switch to take place.
Indeed, Wurst hinted that the Oxford plant is secure in the long term as part of the brand’s desire to stay true to its British roots and origin. To that end, it is inevitable the plant will go electric, given the brand plans to make only electric cars from the early 2030s.
Wurst also said more models are possible beyond the six in the next-generation line-up, but nothing has yet been confirmed.
On the subject of a long-rumoured ‘mini’ Mini inspired by the Rocketman concept a decade ago, Wurst said the model is “more than a dream but not yet a concrete plan”.
On the Urbanaut concept from year, she said it is a car “thinkable under the Mini brand but we cannot decide yet, as we can’t do all at the same time”.
More generally, she added: “Minis can be bigger or smaller, higher or flatter. We have a strategic group working on our decisions and we could decide our future by the end of the year. If there is another bodystyle on top that is feasible, we need to decide. We need to look at the economics. We never stop looking at what is next. We need to look at growth curves and not let them stagnate, so it’d be stupid not to look at what’s next.”
Even so, the focus is on making the confirmed six models a success. “These Minis will have to be the most successful as they have to sell in huge quantities around the world,” said Wurst, noting in particular the growth potential for China and Japan, where it has yet to sell an electric car.
Wurst also hinted that Mini is open to getting into other areas of mobility, saying that the brand is “not always four wheels and a roof”.