The Art of Manufacturing: 100 Years of MINI Plant Oxford
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The Art of Manufacturing: 100 Years of MINI Plant Oxford

Oxford : United Kingdom | Apr 09, 2013 at 4:16 PM PDT
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Mini Plant Oxford

I don’t know if you have heard it already but it’s been a century since the Plant Oxford started producing cars. Over 11.65 million cars have been manufactured in the Plant Oxford and around 2.25 million of them were MINIs! It goes without a saying that the factory has been identified with the legendary British car, which is now owned, of course, by BMW. The Mini Plant Oxford is an important chapter in the story of Britain’s most successful car in terms of popularity and the love that it received from the car enthusiasts – the MINI, that is! A British phenomenon, the MINI is still being assembled in the Plant Oxford (among other factories). Let’s now take a look at the history of Plant Oxford and, all together, MINI cars and try to understand the meaning of this very special anniversary and its celebration:

The Plant Oxford

It was 1913 when William Morris founded the Oxford Plant. One of Britain’s most successful motor manufacturers, Morris was also the founder of the Morris Motors Limited. The first car ever produced was a Bullnose Morris Oxford. Million other cars followed not late after! In total, 13 brands of car have been produced there, at the Plant Oxford. Today, no more or less than 3.700 people are being employed at the Oxford Plant.

A deeper look at the numbers might prove to be revealing. When the factory opened its gates for the first time, it could produce 20 cars per week. Nowadays, the plant completes up to 4.500 MINI’s a week! Famous brands that were manufactured at the factory would include MG, Wolseley, Vanden Plas, Princess, Rover, Sterling and, definitely, Mini. Talking about Mini, it could be worth to browse the hatchback range of MINI cars of today, as it is getting bigger and bigger!

The Cars

And now let’s take a look at some of the models that have been manufactured at the Plant Oxford. It all started with the Bullnose, as we have already mentioned. Don’t get confused: what now looks like an antique it was back then cutting edge technology in terms of cars and moving vehicles! After the Bullnose, others followed and a whole range of well respected brand cars started to be produced at Plant Oxford. Only to enumerate the most important, we need to mention the classic Morris Minor, the Morris Oxford III and, of course, the time for the BMC Mini arrived in 1959. Then, what followed were the Morris Marina during the sixties. The Rover 800 (a quite successful Honda model) was also produced at Plant Oxford during the 1980s.

The new MINI, now owned by BMW, has been led by its new owners into a new and equally successful era, keeping its standards high and doing justice to the status of a very well renowned British car. This famous British car that is nowadays identified with the ultimate urban chic has been in production at the Plant Oxford since 2001. The MINI Hatch, the MINI Cabrio, the MINI Clubvan, the MINI Clubman, the MINI Roadster and the MINI Coupe from the MINI Coupe range in particular, are assembled at the Plant Oxford.

MINI’s Continental Tour

Given the facts and figures, Mini naturally had all the reasons to celebrate emphatically this special very anniversary, as a symbol of a long-standing and fruitful collaboration. A convoy of Minis, which started their pilgrimage in Munich, hit the road in order to reconnect and pay homage to eight Mini production sites all around Europe. Mini traveled to Italy, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Malta, Germany, the Netherlands and of course… Great Britain! The final destination couldn’t have been any other than Oxford, where, on the 28th of March, the whole Mini family wished for yet… another century of brilliantly producing cars!

The Plant Oxford, along with the MINI, is a story of success and wonderful collaboration that stood the test of time. Mini keeps up with its high standards, continuing to occupy a very special place on the car market of small cars and not only!. It represents the sophisticated charm and stands for urban lifestyle, par excellence. It is, if you want, the tiny little 'bourgeois' car or the 'flaneur'-car of the narrow urban streets. Since it is a car that impresses through functionality, technical brilliance and marvelous design, it can be called the little 'genius-car' that could only fit a place such as Oxford, don’t you think?


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MINI - Oxford
In the UK, MINI has three manufacturing plants at Hams Hall, Swindon and Oxford, the MINI production triangle. Together these sites produce MINI; Plant Swindon makes pressings and sub-assemblies, the Hams Hall plant produces the new MINI petrol engines and Plant Oxford is responsible for the body shell production, paint and assembly.
Johnny_Knox is based in Thessaloníki, Voria Ellada, Greece, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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