Mini is one of the most loved cars in the world, but even so its selling numbers is not impressing, due to the fact that for a very long time they were regarded as niche cars.
But Mini has its milestones, especially when it comes to one of its most important factories. Plant Oxford celebrates the three millionth Mini to roll off the assembly line since production began back in 2001.
The three millionth Oxford-built Mini is a John Cooper Works Clubman.
From around 300 cars a day in 2001 to around 1,000 built to order cars today, the 4,500 workforce at Oxford produce one new Mini almost every minute. 80 per cent of Minis built here are exported to more than 110 markets across the world.
Sales of Mini, both in the UK and internationally grew over the last 15 years. In its first year nearly 40,000 Minis were sold worldwide. By 2015 this number had risen to nearly 340,000.
Three UK plants have a part to play in its production: Hams Hall near Birmingham makes engines, Swindon produces body pressings and sub-assemblies for MINI, and this all comes together at Oxford with body shell production, paint and final assembly.
Oxford, the heart and home of MINI production, has a rich motor manufacturing history. It has been building cars since 1913 when the great designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist William Morris (later Lord Nuffield), produced its first car, a “Bullnose” Morris, near today’s present state-of-the-art Mini production facility.
Models built at Oxford today include three and five door MINIs, the Mini Clubman and its first all-wheel drive All4 model – and the high-performance MINI John Cooper Works.