Revitalised MINI Brand celebrates 20 Years

The MINI brand and the BMW Group’s British production plants in Oxford and Swindon celebrate 20 years of production of the original in the small car premium segment for the 21st century.

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A success that has now lasted two decades: At the beginning of 2001, the production of MINI body parts started in Swindon. And a little later, on 26 April 2001, the first new MINI rolled off the production line in Oxford. Since then, MINI has built more than five million premium cars in Great Britain. At the Oxford plant alone, the MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door and the MINI Clubman as well as the fully-electric MINI Cooper SE are currently being built – all together on the same production line.

BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management Oliver Zipse was in charge of manufacturing at the MINI plant in Oxford from 2007 to 2008.

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On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the start of production, he says: ”Congratulations to everyone at MINI Plants Oxford and Swindon for reaching such a great manufacturing milestone. I still have very fond memories of my time at Oxford. It was a real pleasure to work at the home and heart of the MINI brand with such engaging and passionate people, nearly one quarter of whom have dedicated these 20-years or more to building our cars.”

Currently, more than 4,500 highly qualified employees work at the MINI plants in Oxford and Swindon, including 130 apprentices. Together, this strong team ensures that around 1,000 MINI are born on the island every day – one every 67 seconds.

Peter Weber, Managing Director of Plants Oxford and Swindon since 2019, adds: ”I am extremely proud of our teams at Oxford and Swindon and the incredible job they do. Their continued commitment and passion over the past 20 years has helped to strengthen MINI´s reputation around the world.”

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Plants Oxford and Swindon already have a very long tradition as production sites: Cars have been built there for 65 years (Swindon) and even 108 years (Oxford). For a long time this was done quietly, but in recent years the Oxford plant has developed into a magnet for tourists. In the meantime, the award-winning MINI factory tour there has delighted around 26,000 MINI fans.

The Oxford plant took an energetic step into the future in 2020 when the MINI Cooper SE, the brand’s first fully electric model, rolled off the production line. And that was just the beginning: By the early 2030s, MINI will be the first BMW Group brand whose entire model range will be powered exclusively by electricity. Over the past 20 years, the Oxford and Swindon plants have played a decisive role in making MINI production more sustainable and are indispensable for the BMW Group’s strategy to further reduce emissions.

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The MINI brand and Great Britain manufacturing:

26 April 2001 Start of MINI production at the Oxford plant. 2002 Only 13 months after the start of production, the 100,000th MINI already has come of the production line at the Oxford plant.

2004 BMW Group announces a £40 million investment at Plant Swindon.

The MINI Convertible is presented.

2006 The Hams Hall plant produces a new generation of engines and supplies Oxford for MINI production, creating the British MINI production triangle of three plants.

The MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit is unveiled.

2007 The MINI Plant Oxford pioneers innovative paint technology. The Oxford plant is the first BMW Group production site to use IPP (Integrated Paint Process). This highly innovative system brings energy savings and emission reductions of well over ten percent in the painting of bodyshells.

2008 The new MINI Clubman is launched.

2009 Start of the MINI E trials, supported by the British government. Worldwide field trial by the BMW Group to evaluate the technical and social aspects of living with a fully electric vehicle in everyday life.

2010 The brand’s first all-wheel-drive model, the MINI Countryman, is launched.

2011 Expansion of the model range to include the MINI Coupé.

2012 The MINI Roadster is launched.

2013 Premiere for the MINI Paceman.

2014 The first MINI 5-door is launched.

One of the Great Britain’s largest roof-mounted solar farms is installed at MINI Plant Oxford. On the roof of the bodyshop, the solar farm has more than 11,500 panels, covering 20,000 square metres (five football pitches). It generates enough electricity to power the equivalent of 850 households (over 3 megawatts). This allows Plant Oxford to reduce its carbon footprint by approximately 1,500 tonnes of C0per year.

2016 The latest generation of the MINI Convertible is announced.

2017 The second generation of the MINI Countryman is unveiled.

2019 The MINI plant in Oxford builds its 10,000,000th MINI.

Two new highlights in the model range are announced: the third MINI John Cooper Works GP and the brand’s first fully electric production vehicle, the MINI Cooper SE.

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January 2020 Production of the MINI Cooper SE begins at the Oxford plant. The purely electric MINI is fully integrated into the production process. This makes it the first BMW Group plant to run electric vehicles on the same line as the models with combustion engines, enabling flexible production in line with global demand.

By the end of 2020, a total of 17 580 vehicles had been sold and delivered to customers around the world.

October 2020 MINI announces future product plans and new strategy, focusing on electromobility, introduction of a new crossover model and production of models in China from 2023 onwards.

March 2021 MINI confirms that the brand’s last model with an internal combustion engine will be presented in 2025. From the early 2030s, the brand will drive exclusively electrically.

About Rob Fraser 1609 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.