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BMW Group celebrates 20 years of MINI production in the UK
The MINI brand and BMW Group’s UK manufacturing plants in Oxford and Swindon are celebrating 20 successful years of MINI production.
In early 2001, production began for MINI body parts in Swindon and on the 26th of 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, 5-door hatch, the Clubman and the MINI Electric, all on the same production line. The Oxford and Swindon plants employ over 4,500 people, including 130 apprentices, and currently build 1,000 MINIs a day – one every 67 seconds.
BMW Group chairman of the board of management, Oliver Zipse, who was in charge 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.”
Peter Weber, managing director of Plants Oxford and Swindon, added: “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.”
With the MINI Electric entering 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.
20 years of UK manufacturing milestones
2001 – Start of MINI production at Plant Oxford.
2004 – BMW Group announces £40m investment at Plant Swindon.
2006 – Plant Hams Hall produces a new engine family and supplies Oxford for MINI production, creating the UK MINI “production triangle”.
2007 – Plant Oxford is the first BMW Group manufacturing site to use IPP (Integrated Paint Process). This innovative system brings energy savings and emissions reductions of well over 10 per cent in the painting of body shells.
2014 – One of the UK’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 CO² per year.
2020 – MINI Electric customer production begins at Plant Oxford. The MINI Electric is fully integrated into the production process at Plant Oxford, making it the first BMW Group Plant to have electric running down the same line as the combustion engine models, allowing flexibility in production according to global demand.
2021 – MINI confirms its last combustion engine model will be launched in 2025 and the brand will become electric-only from the early 2030s.