Mini Oxford gives birth to 3-millionth car [w/video]Tue, 09 Sep 2014 19:00:00 EST
With the latest generation of Minis having only recently launched a few months ago, the company's Plant Oxford has found another reason to celebrate as it reached two major milestones almost simultaneously. Since production of the new, BMW-revived version began there in 2001, the factory has produced 3 million of the retro-looking models and 2 million vehicles exported outside of the UK. Just four years ago, it was celebrating building 1.5 million of them.
The three-millionth model was a Mini Cooper S five-door hatchback with a special Union Jack paint job. At about the same time, the factory hit its two-millionth exported Mini to leave there, as well. It was a standard Mini hatchback in Volcanic Orange heading for a buyer in Japan.
UK Transport Minister Baroness Kramer attended the ceremony and said: "I congratulate the workers at Mini Plant Oxford on reaching this remarkable milestone. The Mini is a British icon and is a major part of a thriving automotive industry spearheading the growing British economy."
Mini is hardly slowing down with its investment in UK manufacturing with an ongoing 750-million-pound ($1.2 billion) investment going into them. Oxford is receiving a new, 1,000-robot body shop, and the Plant Swindon is getting laser-welding machines for body manufacturing. The Hams Hall plant is also getting updates to build components for the latest generation of engines. Scroll down to read the full announcement from Mini about the production milestones. True Mini geeks will also be thrilled to see a cool time-lapse video of a car being built at the Oxford facility.
MINI celebrates production milestone double
Three million 'New' MINIs produced since 2001; over two million MINI vehicles exported from MINI Plant Oxford:
Three millionth MINI produced is a MINI 5-door hatch
British brand now exports to over 110 markets on every continent
USA is biggest MINI market, followed by UK, Germany, China and France
Combined value of exports from UK approaching £30 billion
Plant Oxford, Plant Swindon and Plant Hams Hall form MINI's UK production network – recent recipient of £750 million investment
MINI Plant Oxford – The continuing success story of the MINI brand was further underlined today as the British manufacturer announced the production of its three millionth car since 2001, and its two millionth international export.
Relaunched in 2001 under the stewardship of the BMW Group, the MINI brand has become one of the most popular in the automotive world. It is a true British export success story with drivers in more than 110 markets falling in love with the famous marque from USA to Uruguay and Turkey to Taiwan. In the intervening 13 years, the MINI range has grown from one to seven models meaning that the brand can now offer a car to cater for all tastes and requirements.
The three millionth MINI to be produced is a 5-door Hatch Cooper S and has a special exterior design to celebrate its heritage and its British roots.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: "I congratulate the workers at MINI Plant Oxford on reaching this remarkable milestone. The MINI is a British icon and is a major part of a thriving automotive industry spearheading the growing British economy. This government is working to create the right environment for car manufacturers like BMW to continue innovating and developing British-made cars with worldwide appeal."
Investment in MINI UK Production Network
A £750 million investment is underway across three of BMW Group's UK manufacturing facilities. Highlights include a new 1,000-robot bodyshop at Plant Oxford and the installation of new body manufacturing technologies including laser welding at Plant Swindon. The Hams Hall engine plant is also being freshly equipped for a new generation of modular power units that will be manufactured at the company's three global engine plants, with the Hams Hall plant supplying crankshafts to all these factories. These new engines, the new body and chassis structure and a completely refreshed design are combined in the all-new MINI.
"The MINI brand has had strong ties to the UK for decades. Our MINI production in Oxford represents a commitment to the brand's identity, firmly in line with our successful strategy of "production follows the market". Oxford is the centre of our British MINI production network, with the Swindon pressings plant and the Hams Hall engine plant near Birmingham," stated Board of Management member for Production Harald Krüger at the event celebrating the production milestone. The UK is the second largest market for MINI in the world.
The two millionth export MINI to leave Plant Oxford is a Volcanic Orange MINI Hatch which is currently making its way across the ocean to its new customer in Japan. "Today, we mark two important milestones for MINI. Three million MINIs produced, and two million MINIs exported from Oxford to customers worldwide. These are impressive figures and definitely a reason to celebrate. In markets big and small, MINI has always appealed to customers on an emotional level," said Board of Management member Peter Schwarzenbauer.
Frank Bachmann, managing director of MINI Plants Oxford and Swindon, said: "Everyone here is proud to be celebrating these two great milestones. The complexity of producing MINIs for individual customers in more than 110 markets around the globe is a real testimony to the expertise of our workforce."
The BMW Group
The BMW Group is the leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 28 production and assembly facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2013, the BMW Group sold around 1.963 million cars and 115,215 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2012 was €7.82 billion on revenues amounting to €76.85 billion. As of the 31 December 2012, the BMW Group had a workforce of 105,876 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.
By Chris Bruce
See also: Next Mini Countryman spotted with swirls, Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video], Mini bringing new 230-hp John Cooper Works to Detroit.