The Mini manufacturing facility at BMW's Plant Oxford - the one time Rover Large Cars factory - has built its 200,000th car in 2005 during one of the last production shifts of the year.

The 'pepper white' Cooper S convertible destined for Australia was the 766,290th Mini built at the plant since production started in April 2001. Nearly all vehicles are made to a specific customer order.

It is the first time that the plant has built over 200,000 units in a year since 1988.

Between 2000 and 2004, the BMW Group invested £280 million at Oxford. In February this year it was announced that a further £100 million is to be invested by 2007 adding a further 200 jobs to the plant's existing workforce of 4,500.

Most of this investment is in further optimisation of production capacities, allowing the plant to react to high demand, as well as increasing production flexibility of the various model variants.

To allow this work to progress and minimise disruption to production, the plant is extending its Christmas shutdown and will re-open on 13 January 2006.