THE newly-launched electric Mini will be partly-made in Swindon.

The eco-friendly vehicle will be mainly manufactured in Oxford but its panels will be made in Swindon and this has been hailed as good news for the plant’s 800-strong workforce.

BMW plant Oxford and Swindon managing director Peter Weber said: “This is such a proud moment for every single one of our team.

“It shows our commitment to the UK. The Mini Electric will be fully integrated into the production process at Oxford and Swindon, running down the same lines as all the conventional models.

“The Electric Mini maintains our production volume and it is great news for the plant and the workforce. The panels will come from Swindon which means the plant is integral to the car.”

Production in Oxford will begin later this year and the first deliveries will follow in March 2020.

Director of Business West’s Swindon and Wiltshire Initiative Ian Larrard said: “BMW’s commitment to producing the Electric Mini in the UK is a vote of confidence in the UK’s automotive manufacturing industry.

“Locally, news of this investment will be welcomed by employees at the BMW Mini plant in Swindon and companies in the local supply chain.

"More broadly, it demonstrates Swindon’s growing reputation as a hub for the design and manufacture of electric and hydrogen vehicles.”

The three-door car keeps the Mini’s classic look with a few modern tweaks, like a charging plug instead of a petrol filler above the right-hand rear wheel.

Its performance is similar to the hot-hatchback Mini Cooper S and BMW is expecting high demand for the £24,400 car.

Secretary of State for business Greg Clark said: “Our automotive industry has long been a source of national pride, and the unique collaboration between government and industry through our industrial strategy has helped put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero emission vehicles with one in five electric cars in Europe now built in the UK.

“The production of the electric Mini in the UK will play a key role in accelerating the adoption of cleaner, greener vehicles and I am delighted this modern British icon will be manufactured in Oxford.”