German luxury carmaker BMW Group will invest 500 million pounds in its UK production network over the next 3 years.

The investment will be used to create new production facilities and equipment at MINI Plant Oxford, which will help to safeguard over 5,000 jobs in the MINI vehicle assembly plant in Oxford, pressings plant in Swindon and engine plant at Hams Hall near Birmingham. The group has been producing MINI at Plant Oxford since 2001, the carmaker said.

We have started preparing our UK plants for production of the next generation Mini and this investment underlines that the UK will remain the heart of Mini production, BMW said on Thursday.

The UK is the BMW Group's fourth-largest single market in the world for sales, behind only Germany, the US and China, with sales in 2010 across the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands totaling 154,750.

During the financial year 2010, BMW sold 1.46 million cars and more than 110,000 motorcycles worldwide.