HUNDREDS of jobs could be secured at the Cowley car factory with the announcement that two new Minis are to be built here.

The car maker is set to unveil a Mini Coupé and another design at the Frankfurt Motor Show this month.

Norbert Reithofer, BMW’s chief executive, said the move would mean more jobs and investment in the firm’s factories in Oxford and Graz, in Austria.

It is thought 1,000 jobs could be created, but tonight the firm remained tight-lipped on exactly how many posts would be at the Cowley plant.

BMW spokesman Rebecca Baxter said: “It’s far too early to say. It points to a bright future. It’s fantastic news for the plant and fantastic news for Oxford.”

The firm also declined to explain whether the latest announcement would mean expanding the factory.

However, the news comes as a shot in the arm for the city’s car industry after 850 agency staff were laid off earlier this year.

A representative for the Unite union, who declined to be named, said employees were delighted at the prospect of more jobs.

He said: “It will bring people in from the breadline — people with families and kids.

“It would be nice if any new people were given permanent contracts, but it is tremendous news for the plant and for Oxford.”

The weekend shift was scrapped earlier this year, but several hundred workers were reinstated in the summer after a boom in orders.

At the moment, 3,700 people work at the Cowley plant.

Lord Mandelson, the Government’s Business Secretary, said: “The production of two new Minis is very good news for Oxford, and for the UK car industry.

“It is a demonstration of BMW’s long-term commitment to the UK as it celebrates its 50th birthday this year.”

The Mini Coupé Concept, which will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 17, has been billed as a compact sports car in the premium car market.

The current range includes the Mini, the Clubman, and the convertible.

The first Mini, designed by Alec Issigonis, rolled off the Cowley production line in May 1959.

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said: “This is great news for Oxford and British manufacturing and a real credit to the enormous achievement of the Cowley workforce.

“There is not a city in the world that wouldn’t give a lot to be hearing this news.

“It bears out everything BMW have told me about their high regard for the Cowley plant and their plans for the Mini. I am keen to see extra jobs at the plant and that prospect underlines the importance of extra housing in the Oxford area, so that people can live and work locally.”

Keith Mitchell, the leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said it was the best news possible for the city and the whole of the county.

He said: “I am sure the event will reflect well on Oxfordshire as a part of the world that has a world-class economy with an underlying strength that is primed to emerge from the recession and become ever stronger.

“It will also reflect well on our county as a place that fosters and encourages technical innovation.”