BMW’s Mini-branded vehicle factory in Cowley, Oxford, UK will cut 400 onsite agency personnel and reduce shift patterns from three to two from mid-October onwards, according to local media on August 26.
Production at BMW’s Cowley plant had initially been suspended in mid-March in response to the implementation of safe-working measures and COVID-19 lockdown measures, before resuming operations in May.
While BMW have pointed to the affliction that COVID-19 has had on sales, domestic registrations have been in steady decline since April 2017 with volumes falling year-on-year in 32 out of the past 40 months.
According to industry data, BMW’s Cowley plant employs circa 4,000 and produced 222,340 Minis in 2019 at approximately 1,070 units per day. Post-shift reduction, production is expected to fall to about 800-900 units per day.
Most pertinent to the local steel and ferrous scrap industry will be the respective fall in steel consumption from reduced vehicle production as well as the relative decline in new thin scrap generation from body panel stampings.