The Mini is a much-loved motoring icon in the United Kingdom. In fact, word spread of the classic Mini and now you can often find one in many parts of the world!
These days, the classic Mini has evolved into a newer and more modern version. Today’s Mini is now built by BMW, who bought the rights as part of the Rover Group buyout.
The BMW-built Mini of today is just as successful and popular as its predecessor. But how much do you know about the modern Mini? Here are some interesting facts for you to feast your eyes on!
Plant Oxford: the home of the Mini
The home of the Mini is, of course, “Plant Oxford.” Situated in Cowley, the huge site has been in operation way before the BMW Mini was ever conceived!
It’s a site that has been in operation since the early 20th century. It was set up by William Morris back in 1912, where a Ford-style assembly line got introduced for Morris Motors. His first car, the 1.0-litre two-seater Morris Oxford, got made there.
Plant Oxford forms parts of the “Mini production triangle”
While assembly of most Mini models takes places in Oxford, not everything gets built on site. Plant Oxford is part of a three-stage production cycle. BMW refers to this cycle as the “Mini production triangle”:
- Plant Hams Hall in North Warwickshire is the place where Mini petrol engines get made;
- Plant Swindon in Wiltshire is where body panels and sub-assemblies happen.
More than 4,000 people work at Plant Oxford, with around 800 employees at Plant Hams Hall and Plant Swindon.
coopermini.co.uk says that BMW have invested more than £1.75 billion at all three sites since 2002. They expect investment to continue well into 2015.
Mini production facts
If you’re a guy or gal that loves soaking in all sorts of interesting Mini factoids, check these out for size:
- The new Mini hatch uses more than 3,600 individual components;
- Plant Oxford uses 1,000 robots to make up to 6,000 spot welds on each new Mini;
- More than 200 quality control checks on each new Mini occur;
- Every 68 seconds, a brand new Mini rolls off the assembly line;
- Plant Mini has built more than 2 million Minis since 2002.
The Mini paint facility cost £80 million to build
Let’s face it; if each Mini got sprayed by hand, production volumes would be a lot lower than they are today!
The Mini paint facility has a total surface area of 38,430 square metres. Each new Mini that passes through the facility does so in 10 hours. Robots take care of most processes, ranging from corrosion protection to the clear coat layer.
At various states, quality checks are always made. And before any Mini gets painted, they get “dusted” with Ostrich feathers!
Do you have any other fascinating Mini facts that you’d like to share with us? Please feel free to post them up in the comments section. Thanks for reading today’s fact-packed article!
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