It may seem early but 20 years already passed since the modern-day take on the MINI entered production. After BMW took over the British brand at the end of the 1990s, after some serious work was put into the underpinnings of the modern-day MINI, the first ever revamped model came out in 2001, with a completely new look and feel. It was both a reason to rejoice and to be sad, as the original Mini was finally being put to rest, after some 42 years in production.
26 April marks the day the first ever modern-day MINI rolled off the assembly line in Oxford and since then, over 5 million MINI models were built in the UK thanks to hard work and a flexible platform. Today, MINI is making the 3-door and 5-door hatchback models in the UK alongside the Clubman and MINI Electric, all on the same assembly line. 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.
Over these past two decades, plenty of milestones have been reached. April 26, 2001 marked the first new MINI to roll off the production line, but it wasn’t until July 7 when the proper market launch of the cars took place. In 2004, the first MINI Convertible was unveiled while in 2007, MINI Plant Oxford becomes the first BMW Group plant to use the Integrated Paint Process, becoming more efficient in the process.
In 2008, the first MINI Clubman was presented under BMW’s umbrella and one year later we were seeing the first MINI E model, an electric take on the hatch, meant to be used as a sort of measuring stick for EVs. A bunch of launches followed, with the Countryman being unveiled in 2010 followed by the MINI Coupe, Roadster and Paceman, one in every year following. In 2019, MINI Plant Oxford celebrates its 10 millionth MINI made there, a noteworthy moment.