Published on April 27th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Oxford Plant Celebrates 15 Years of MINI Production
Plant Oxford today celebrates 15 years since the first new MINIs rolled off the production line on 26 April, 2001. The BMW Group, which is also marking its centenary year in 2016, acquired the plant in 1994 and relaunched the brand in 2001 with the debut of the new MINI Hatch.
Since then more than 2.5 million MINIs have been produced in Oxford, with the three million milestone expected to be hit later this year. 80 per cent of the cars made here are exported to more than 110 countries around the world.
Frank Bachmann, Managing Director of MINI Plant Oxford, said: “MINI is an iconic British brand that has made a remarkable journey over the past 15 years. In that time we’ve more than doubled our capacity and gone from producing just one model to an entire range of MINIs that have proved hugely popular with customers around the world.”
The plant’s automotive history dates back to 1913 when the great designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist William Morris (later Lord Nuffield), produced its first car, a “Bullnose” Morris, near today’s present state-of-the-art MINI production facility. The classic Mini was produced at Oxford from 1959 until 1968 with a peak output of 94,889 cars during 1966/67.
Today, more than 4,500 people are employed at the site in Cowley, which manufactures around 1,000 cars a day, including three and five door MINIs, the MINI Clubman and its first all-wheel drive All4 model – and the high-performance MINI John Cooper Works.
Between 2012 and 2015 BMW Group invested £750 million at the plants, taking investment in UK production to £1.75 billion since 2000.