Wednesday, 10 September 2014

BMW makes three millionth Mini

BMW has celebrated the production of its three millionth Mini car since 2001, and its two millionth international export.

Relaunched in 2001 under the stewardship of the BMW Group, the Mini brand has become one of the most popular in the automotive world.

The company claims an international success story with drivers in more than 110 markets “falling in love” with the famous marque – from USA to Uruguay, and from  Turkey to Taiwan.

In the intervening 13 years, the MINI range has grown from one to seven models.   The three millionth Mini is a five-door Hatch Cooper S with a special exterior design to celebrate its heritage and its British roots.

A £750 million investment is underway across three of BMW Group's UK manufacturing facilities. Highlights include a new 1,000-robot bodyshop at Plant Oxford with robots supplied by the Swedish robot builder, ABB. See below.

Included in the investment also is the installation of new body manufacturing technologies including laser welding at Plant Swindon.

The Hams Hall engine plant has been refreshed and equipped for a new generation of modular power units that will be manufactured at the company's three global engine plants, with the Hams Hall plant supplying crankshafts to all these factories.

These new engines, the new body and chassis structure and a completely refreshed design are combined in the all-new Mini.

"The Mini brand has had strong ties to the UK for decades. Our Mini production in Oxford represents a commitment to the brand's identity, firmly in line with our successful strategy of "production follows the market", stated BMW’s board of management member for production Harald Krüger. The UK is the second largest market for MINI in the world.

The two millionth export vehicle to leave Plant Oxford is a Volcanic Orange Mini Hatch which is currently making its way across the ocean to its new customer in Japan. Ironically, in the days of British Leyland, Japan was seen as one of the markets the company was trying to open up, even to the point of setting up an office there to sell its cars to the Japanese.

In 2013, the BMW Group sold around 1.963 million cars and 115,215 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2012 was €7.82 billion on revenues amounting to €76.85 billion. As of the 31 December 2012, the BMW Group had a workforce of 105,876 employees.

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