BMW production chief Frank-Peter Arndt said: “Production of the two millionth MINI comes on the back of strong demand worldwide. Our recent announcement of an additional GBP500m investment in our UK production facilities demonstrates the important role that Oxford plays in our global production network.”
BMW also has a pressings plant in Swindon – it was once Pressed Steel – and a brown field engine plant at the former Hams Hall power station site near Birmingham. The automaker’s total investment across all its UK operations is over GBP1.5bn.
The two millionth Mini is a convertible specially painted in white silver metallic with a blue denim roof. The specification includes bespoke interior and exterior options including special alloy wheels, a distinctive leather steering wheel and lounge leather upholstery.
This milestone car is the prize on offer in a global Facebook campaign called ‘Two Million Minis – Two Million Faces’ which involves photographs of the faces of 2m fans being collected and built to create a dedicated Facebook ‘wall’. The winner will be chosen at random after the campaign closes on 30 September.
Producing 216,302 vehicles in 2010, Mini was the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in the UK, accounting for 17% of national automotive production. The plant – which can trace its origins back through British Leyland to Morris Motors (most of the site has been redeveloped) – currently produces four models – hatchback, convertible, the Clubman and the new coupé. A fifth model, the roadster, will join the line-up at the end of this year. The Countryman is built under contract by Magna Steyr in Austria.
Since production started in 2001, Plant Oxford’s staff count has risen from 2,400 working a single shift to build up to 300 cars a day. Today around 3,700 associates work five days a week on two shifts to produce as many as 900 cars per day. It has also in the past worked third and weekend shifts, which employed a number of university students. During the decade, maximum production capacity at the plant has risen from 100,000 to over 200,000 units per year. In the medium term the plant has an annual capacity of 260,000 units.
The top five export markets in 2010 were the US, Germany, France, China and Italy.