OXFORD — MINI fans all over the world have a variety of opportunities to look back on the 60 years of history enjoyed by the British brand over these weeks and months. Now there is another reason to celebrate: The ten millionth vehicle of the heritage brand was produced at the British MINI Plant Oxford where the classic Mini was manufactured from 1959 onwards.
The anniversary vehicle rolling off the production line was a model of the MINI 60 Years Edition — and it then came face to face with the brand’s first small car ever manufactured. The classic Mini from 1959 and the Edition model from the year 2019 then joined forces with 60 other vehicles of the brand — each of them from one of the production years. They all took part in a road trip traveling to Bristol in convoy, where thousands of fans celebrated the world’s biggest birthday party for the British original at the International Mini Meeting held last August.
The production anniversary to celebrate 60 years of the brand’s existence bears witness to the uninterrupted popularity of MINI in the 21st century. In 1959, the genius who designed the classic Mini, Alec Issigonis, laid down a definitive milestone in automobile history. The vehicle concept with the engine mounted transversely at the front of the car along with the gearbox configured beneath the engine, and the wheels positioned at the corners of the car together with a tailgate body provided maximum interior space on a minimum footprint. The design also ensured amazingly agile driving characteristics and it became the blueprint for modern small and compact cars. Around 5.3 million units of the classic Mini were sold worldwide up until the year 2000.
Just one year later, the global success story of the brand was continued. Since the relaunch of this marque, MINI is the original in the premium segment of small cars. The reinterpretation of the inimitable design, the unsurpassed driving fun that is unique in the competitive environment and the individual style of the brand are not simply generating enthusiasm in the class of small cars. These characteristic qualities are empowering MINI to continuously acquire new target groups in the premium compact segment.
And the next stage is about to be launched. In November 2019, production of the all-electric powered MINI Cooper SE will commence — also in Oxford. In future, this will also make electromobility a typical MINI experience full of driving fun and individuality.
Last year, almost 400,000 MINIs were sold in 110 countries. This means that the sales figures for the modern MINI are following hot on the heels of its historic predecessor. The models MINI 3-door, MINI 5-door and MINI Clubman are currently being produced at the MINI Plant Oxford. Up to 1,000 MINIs are manufactured there every day. The MINI Convertible and the MINI Countryman roll off the assembly line at MINI’s Dutch production partner, VDL NedCar.
“Seeing the 10 millionth vehicle of our brand come off the production line here in Oxford was a moment of pride for all the employees. Some of them have family members who were already producing the classic Mini at this site,” explained Peter Weber, head of the MINI Plant Oxford. “This is a wonderful chapter in the history of MINI and proof of the passion that our customers have for this very special British motor car.”
In the run-up to the production anniversary, MINI put posts on social media asking the brand’s British community to share their personal stories from 60 years of MINI with other fans. The huge response made it possible to bring together characteristic vehicles from each production year between 1959 and 2019 as the showpiece for the anniversary celebration at the MINI Plant Oxford.
The highlight of this exceptional coalescence was the joint outing to the International Mini Meeting in Bristol. The first classic Mini ever built drove at the head of the convoy. It bears the registration 621 AOK well known among MINI fans and the car was followed in chronological order by protagonists from 60 years with the 10 millionth vehicle of the brand bringing up in the rear of the impressive anniversary procession.