15 years have passed since BMW launched the modern-day Mini and the Oxford plant has just reached a production milestone. Plant Oxford in Cowley, England has just produced its three millionth car, a Mini Clubman John Cooper Works draped in British Racing Green.
Before it was acquired by BMW, the Oxford plant has been around since the 1910's as a production hub for the British motoring industry. The plant is also the birthplace of the original Mini, produced from 1959 to 2000. These days, Plant Oxford produces the Mini Hatch, Mini 5-door, Clubman, Convertible, Coupe and Roadster. Mini also has a plant outside England. The Mini Countryman and Mini Paceman are assembled by Magna Steyr in Austria.
Two other plants in England have a part Mini production. First is Hams Hall near Birmingham which builds the engines. Second is Swindon, which produces body pressings and sub-assemblies for Mini. This all comes together at Oxford with body shell production, paint and final assembly. When BMW took full control of the factory in 2001, Oxford produced 300 cars a day. 15 years later, the automaker says that they are building 1,000 Minis everyday and are exported to 110 markets worldwide. Just last year, Mini sold almost 340,000 cars worldwide.
Since 2000, £1.75 billion has been invested by the BMW Group at the three plants and at Oxford this has included a state-of-the-art paintshop, a high-technology body building facility, a new final assembly area, a new logistics centre, Quality and Engineering Center and the MINIcademy, where the plant’s apprentices are trained.