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Today was a great day for MINI, as the two millionth Cooper rolled off the assembly line, ten years after the start of production. British Prime Minister David Cameron was even present at the Oxford plant to drive the car out of the factory.
The MINI convertible was complete with special paintwork and extras. David Cameron declared that the ceremony that, “It’s a real privilege to drive this true British icon off the production line today. The 2 millionth MINI to be made here in Oxford is a fantastic symbol of the UK’s strength in the global automotive industry and a great British manufacturing success story. MINI is not just a symbol of our industrial past, but also the great industrial future we want to build.”
When production began at the Oxford Plant in 2001, 2,400 employees worked a single shift producing 300 cars a day. Today production has expanded to include 3,700 employees working two shifts, five days a week, building 900 cars a day. The maximum capacity of the plant has also increased from 100,000 units per year in 2001, to 200,000 units ten years later. Currently, the MINI is delivered to customers in more than 90 countries across the globe.
Jürgen Hedrich, head of Plant Oxford said: “This marks a tremendous milestone for Plant Oxford and its employees. Oxford has been the heart of MINI production for ten years. Our employees are proud to be part of this brand’s success.”
Milestone brings brands total sales volume to 6.8 million units
The MINI brand continues to be a huge success for BMW and just yesterday the sporty small car maker celebrated its 1.5 millionth vehicle. The car is a Chili red Clubman built for the U.K. market.
The milestone comes at an important time for MINI as this year it is celebrating 50 years as an automaker. The 1.5 million new MINI models have all been built at the company’s plant in Oxford since 2001. The new MINI still has a long way to go, however, to catch up with the original, which sold 5.3 million units between 1959 and 2000.
In total MINI has built 6.8 million cars. And when it comes to the new MINI, the standard hard top is the people’s choice, accounting for 1.24 million of the 1.5 million sold.
“This is a great day for the plant and a wonderful milestone to reach in the 50th birthday year of MINI,” said BMW Sales and Marketing boss Ian Robertson. “This is a tough time for the car industry and no business is immune from its challenges, but MINI is an extremely resilient brand with huge customer appeal and we have seen a strengthening order bank in recent months. We will launch a wealth of new models in the coming years and the future is looking extremely bright.”
MINI hasn’t said much officially, but the future product lineup is expected to include a crossover model and possibly a speedster. As a brand, MINI has also expanded its global reach and is now sold in 80 countries.