MINI Manufactures a Million (Two, Actually)

On Wednesday, the two-millionth MINI was produced in Plant Oxford, in the United Kingdom, since start of production in 2001.

On Wednesday, the two-millionth MINI was produced in Plant Oxford, in the United Kingdom, since start of production in 2001. The car in question was a MINI convertible. It was driven off the line by British Prime Minister David Cameron who said, like a good politician must under such circumstances, “It’s a real privilege to drive this true British icon off the production line today. The two millionth MINI to be made here in Oxford is a fantastic symbol of the UK’s strength in the global automotive industry and a great British manufacturing success story. MINI is not just a symbol of our industrial past, but also the great industrial future we want to build.”

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MINI manufacturing in Oxford.  Yes, that Oxford.

Without going all Wittgenstein* on this “British icon/manufacturing success,” it is worth noting that MINI is part of the BMW Group, which is a German company. (It also operates Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, which manufactures its products in Goodwood, West Sussex.)

MINI was the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in the UK in 2010, with its 216,302 units representing some 17% of the national automotive production.

BMW recently announced that it is investing an additional £500 million in MINI in the UK, which in addition to the assembly plant in Oxford, has a stamping plant in Swindon and an engine plant in Hams Hall.

So congratulations are certainly in order for the Little Car that Can, the car that made, certainly, vehicle manufacturers in the U.S. realize that people are actually willing to pay a premium for a premium small car. Imagine: paying for style and substance even though it may be packaged small.

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*Ludwig Wittgenstein was an Austrian philosopher who studied the meaning of language who became a British citizen in 1939: so was he Austrian or British?