Autocar magazine has named MINI Car Manufacturer of the Year 2005 at its annual award ceremony held in London on Monday 14th November 2005.

Presenting the award, Autocar editor Rob Aherne said: “MINI has been a towering success every week of every year of its short life. The cars, which began production in 2001, have brilliantly echoed the appeal of the Issigonis original, while offering buyers a thoroughly modern design.”

The MINI factory at Oxford has achieved a reputation for production efficiency by managing to build its 500,000th vehicle nearly two years ahead of schedule. The Oxford plant employs 4,500 staff.

Dr Anton Heiss, Managing Director of BMW Group Plant Oxford, said: “Winning the Autocar award for Manufacturer of the year is an enormous compliment to MINI and the associates working at BMW Group Plant Oxford.”

“We’re delighted to receive such recognition for consistent excellence in the manufacturing of one of Britain’s most iconic brands. The real winners of this are Plant Oxford’s associates and it’s thanks to their hard work, flexibility and commitment to quality that we’re here today.”

Autocar editor Rob Aherne said: “Sales in the UK now exceed 170,000 units, and MINI makes an important contribution to the British economy by exporting to 70 markets worldwide. These British-built products have also made a huge impact in the notoriously difficult United States market.”

The MINI success looks to continue with the impressive unveiling of the MINI Traveller concept at this year’s Frankfurt Motorshow.

“The MINI’s achievement is exceptionally well-founded and long-lasting and this is why it stands head and shoulders above other car makers in the industry. It is a thoroughly well deserved winner,” said Aherne.