BMW has responded to rumours that it is set to manufacture a new car in Oxford alongside the Mini.

The latest edition of Autocar magazine speculated that the German company could start producing the new BMW 1 Series from the Cowley Plant amid fears about the long term sales of cheaper versions of the Mini. 

Oxford Mail:

But spokesman Steve Wrelton said it has already been decided that this car will be made in Germany although he did not rule out the move in the longer term. 

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He said: "An all new BMW 1 Series is due to go on sale later this year and production of that model is confirmed for our Regensburg and Leipzig plants in Germany.

"Production lifecycles are traditionally in the region of seven years. No longer-term decisions have yet been taken."

Autocar said the 1 Series would be a good fit for Cowley because it uses the same front wheel drive platform found in the Mini. 

The car, other models of which have sold well in the UK, would be easier to make here because engines could be sourced from the Hams Hall Factory near Birmingham and exterior body panels from Swindon, according to the magazine's correspondent Hilton Holloway. 

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A shift to more profitable models could be necessary because the company is predicting a decline in demand for its three and five door hatchback Minis in favour of the more luxurious Countryman model and the all-new electric Mini. 

Producing the 1 Series would mean the Oxford plant would add 50,000 more units every year, according to Autocar.