It’s almost impossible to believe but the modern new MINI now 20 years old. We take it for granted now but the ramping top of production that up at Plant Oxford was a herculean task. Having made the abrupt decision to sell Rover (and Land Rover), BMW had to quickly move production plans and retool the Oxford Plant for what would be a massively popular and important launch – the R50 MINI. 20 years on the MINI brand has one every award, grown in models (and size) and has once again become a cultural phenomenon. And now it will begin its next transition to producing all electric MINIs. But not just yet. The last new petrol engine will launch in 2025 and should see production until around 2030.
Here’s to all the hard work, long hours and dedication of the staff from the Oxford Plant.
The MINI brand and BMW Group’s UK manufacturing plants in Oxford and Swindon are celebrating twenty successful years of MINI production. In early 2001, production began for MINI body parts in Swindon and on the 26th April that same year, the first new MINI rolled off the line in Oxford.
Over the past two decades MINI has built over 5 million cars in the UK. Plant Oxford currently builds the MINI 3-Door Hatch, MINI 5-Door Hatch, MINI Clubman and the MINI Electric, all on the same production line.
BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management Oliver Zipse, who was head of manufacturing at MINI Plant Oxford from 2007-2008, said: “Congratulations to everyone at MINI Plants Oxford and Swindon for reaching such a great manufacturing milestone. I still have very fond memories of my time at Oxford. It was a real pleasure to work at the home and heart of the MINI brand with such engaging and passionate people, nearly one quarter of whom have dedicated these 20-years or more to building our cars.”
MINI Plants Oxford and Swindon employ over 4,500 highly skilled employees, including 130 apprentices, who all keep production moving to build 1000 MINI a day – one every 67 seconds.
Peter Weber, Managing Director of Plants Oxford and Swindon (2019 – present) said: “I am extremely proud of our teams at Oxford and Swindon and the incredible job they do. Their continued commitment and passion over the past 20 years has helped to strengthen MINI’s reputation around the world.”
Plants Oxford and Swindon have been at the heart of their communities for a very long time – 108 and 65 years respectively. In recent years, Plant Oxford has become a must-see tourist destination with 26,000 MINI fans enjoying the award-winning Plant Tours.
With the MINI Electric going into production in 2020, Plant Oxford is already electrified and in the early 2030s, MINI will be the first BMW Group brand to go fully electric. Plants Oxford and Swindon have played a pivotal role in making MINI production more sustainable over the past 20 years and are vital to the BMW Group’s strategy to further reduce emissions.
The MINI brand and Great Britain manufacturing:
|26 April 2001||Start of MINI production at the Oxford plant.|
|2002||Only 13 months after the start of production, the 100,000th MINI already has come of the production line at the Oxford plant. |
|2004||BMW Group announces a £40 million investment at Plant Swindon. |
The MINI Convertible is presented.
|2006||The Hams Hall plant produces a new generation of engines and supplies Oxford for MINI production, creating the British MINI production triangle of three plants.|
The MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit is unveiled.
|2007||The MINI Plant Oxford pioneers innovative paint technology. The Oxford plant is the first BMW Group production site to use IPP (Integrated Paint Process). |
This highly innovative system brings energy savings and emission reductions of well over ten percent in the painting of bodyshells.
|2008||The new MINI Clubman is launched. |
|2009||Start of the MINI E trials, supported by the British government. Worldwide field trial by the BMW Group to evaluate the technical and social aspects of living with a fully electric vehicle in everyday life.|
|2010||The brand’s first all-wheel-drive model, the MINI Countryman, is launched. |
|2011||Expansion of the model range to include the MINI Coupé.|
|2012||The MINI Roadster is launched. |
|2013||Premiere for the MINI Paceman. |
|2014||The first MINI 5-door is launched.|
One of the Great Britain’s largest roof-mounted solar farms is installed at MINI Plant Oxford. On the roof of the bodyshop, the solar farm has more than 11,500 panels, covering 20,000 square metres (five football pitches). It generates enough electricity to power the equivalent of 850 households (over 3 megawatts). This allows Plant Oxford to reduce its carbon footprint by approximately 1,500 tonnes of C02 per year.
|2016||The latest generation of the MINI Convertible is announced. |
|2017||The second generation of the MINI Countryman is unveiled. |
|2019||The MINI plant in Oxford builds its 10,000,000th MINI. |
Two new highlights in the model range are announced: the third MINI John Cooper Works GP and the brand’s first fully electric production vehicle, the MINI Cooper SE.
|January 2020||Production of the MINI Cooper SE begins at the Oxford plant. The purely electric MINI is fully integrated into the production process. This makes it the first BMW Group plant to run electric vehicles on the same line as the models with combustion engines, enabling flexible production in line with global demand. |
By the end of 2020, a total of 17 580 vehicles had been sold and delivered to customers around the world.
|October 2020||MINI announces future product plans and new strategy, focusing on electromobility, introduction of a new crossover model and production of models in China from 2023 onwards. |
|March 2021||MINI confirms that the brand’s last model with an internal combustion engine will be presented in 2025. From the early 2030s, the brand will drive exclusively electrically. |