When it comes to bringing icons to the modern age, the English seem to have a knack for it. Most recently, the Land Rover Defender received critical acclaim for its design and capabilities. But there is another British institution that became a roaring success when it was modernized for the 21st century.
The icon we are talking about is the Mini, and it just reached a production milestone. That's because over five million cars have rolled off various assembly lines worldwide since it was revived. It's perfect timing, too, as the “New Mini” range turns 20 this year. For reference, the classic Mini took 41 years to reach that milestone. All in all, over 10 million Minis were built (in various sizes) since 1959.
But the Mini story almost ended before the new millennium. The original model was set for retirement until BMW stepped in and modernized it. It was supposedly a niche brand, but by its first year of production, over 100,000 had been assembled. From there, the sales and production grew exponentially.
Not only that, the model range expanded like never before. Three years after the launch of the hatchback, the first official Mini Convertible was presented. Then, in 2008, they added another body style in the form of the Clubman. And not be left out of the crossover craze, Mini launched the Countryman in 2010. Other models included the Mini Paceman, Mini Roadster, and Mini Coupe. Some called the expansion sacrilegious, but the sales proved it was a successful move.
Mini even added a five-door version of the standard hatchback model that caused another stir among the classic model's fans. However, it's worth pointing out a model with more than two doors was on the cards since the '60s. It just took over 50 years to reach production.
After this milestone, what is next for Mini? They announced future product plans and a new strategy. The brand wants to focus on electromobility, add another crossover model, and produce some models in China from 2023 onwards. The automaker also confirmed that their last model with an internal combustion engine will be presented in 2025. Like most car companies, Mini said the brand will only sell electric vehicles by the early 2030s.