BMW Group on Wednesday said the next-generation Mini Countryman will start production in 2023 at plant in Leipzig, Germany, and will offer the choice of internal-combustion or battery-electric powertrains.
The current Countryman has been in production since 2016 at a plant in the Netherlands operated by independent vehicle manufacturer VDL Nedcar, and since launch has offered buyers the choice of a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
BMW Group’s Leipzig plant is currently home to production of the 1-Series and 2-Series families, and battery-electric i3. The Countryman will fill the void of the i3 which bows out in the coming years without a direct successor.
2021 Mini Countryman
BMW Group made the announcement about the next Countryman while announcing plans to prepare its European plants for production of more battery-electric cars. Included in those plans is the transfer of internal-combustion engine production from BMW Group’s plant in Munich, Germany, to other sites in Austria and the United Kingdom. The freed space will be used for a new production facility for electric vehicles.
When the next Countryman arrives, Mini will have a second crossover SUV in production. This second SUV will be similar in size to the subcompact Countryman and offer battery-electric power only. Possibly reviving the Paceman name, this new SUV will be the first vehicle developed and built by Spotlight Automotive, the Chinese joint venture between Mini and Great Wall Motors.
Around 2024, Mini will add a third SUV. This one will be bigger than the Countryman to target buyers in North America. A potential name for this SUV is Traveller.