A number of workers at the Mini Plant in Cowley have been told they are losing their jobs, the Oxford Mail can reveal.

The car manufacturer BMW is moving to a different shift pattern as it phases out old vehicle models.

It is understood that the job losses are among temporary staff, but BMW did not confirm the number of employees affected when pushed by this newspaper.

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A spokesperson for BMW said: "We are in the process of phasing out our current models and building up to new ones next year, which is normal in the automotive business.

“This means that we will be producing fewer cars than usual for a period and so we need to move to a different shift pattern.

“As a result some of our temporary staff have been stood down.

“We understand that this has an impact on part of our team employed by Staffline and we are doing everything possible to retain as many as possible within the business." 

Oxford Mail: The Mini plant in Oxford The Mini plant in Oxford (Image: Ed Nix)

The spokesperson continued: “We can’t give a specific number because we are working on plans to retain as many as possible and we don’t know yet what the net effect will be.”

The Mini Plant, owned by BMW, is one of the largest employers in the city. It is located just off the Oxford Ring Road in Cowley.

The plant forms part of the Mini production triangle with Plant Harms Hall in North Warwickshire and Plant Swindon.

Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East said: "I am in regular contact with BMW here in Oxford.

Oxford Mail: Oxford East MP Anneliese DoddsOxford East MP Anneliese Dodds

“Whilst the news of some job losses may sound concerning, I understand that these are planned cuts to temporary staff and that BMW are doing all they can to retain as many staff as possible in the business.”

Back in March it was announced that BMW was considering a £500million investment into its Oxford plant.

This move was intended to secure the future of the production of Minis in Britain.

At the time BMW said they did not respond to “media speculation” but added they will build the majority of next-generation Mini models in Oxford.

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A BMW spokesperson said: "With its high degree of flexibility, competitiveness and expertise, the Oxford plant plays an important role in the BMW Group's production network.

"For the next Mini generation, Oxford will produce the majority of Mini models, the Mini Cooper three-door and five-door models, as well as the Mini Convertible - one of our most important vehicles and a worldwide bestseller."

Last October, BMW said the production of its hatchback and small SUV electric Minis would move to China.

Have you been affected by the job losses? Email olivia.christie@newsquest.co.uk