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15 Years of MINI Production at Plant Oxford

15 Years of MINI Production at Plant Oxford

From BMW Group PressClub UK:

Plant Oxford today celebrates 15 years since the first new MINIs rolled off the production line on 26 April, 2001.

The BMW Group, which is marking its centenary year in 2016, acquired the plant in 1994 and relaunched the brand in 2001 with the debut of the new MINI Hatch.

Since then more than 2.5 million MINIs have been produced in Oxford, with the three million milestone expected to be hit later this year. 80 per cent of the cars made here are exported to more than 110 countries around the world.

The 2001 MINI launch was the reinvention of a British motoring icon, which generated headlines around the world. As well as making the news, the car was subsequently recognised with several industry awards after it went on sale. This included being voted ‘Car of the Year’ in 2001 by leading UK weekly car magazine, Auto Express. Impressed by the car’s driving abilities, quality levels and safety features, the magazine praised the fact that the classic Mini’s DNA was “unmistakable” in the new car.

Sales of MINI, both in the UK and internationally, have gone from strength to strength over the last 15 years. In its first year nearly 40,000 MINIs were sold worldwide. By 2015 this number had risen to nearly 340,000, with more than 63,000 sold to customers in the UK – the highest since the brand’s relaunch.

Frank Bachmann, Managing Director of MINI Plant Oxford, said: “MINI is an iconic British brand that has made a remarkable journey over the past 15 years. In that time we’ve more than doubled our capacity and gone from producing just one model to an entire range of MINIs that have proved hugely popular with customers around the world. Making 1,000 high-quality cars to individual order each day is a huge challenge but we succeed in doing so because of the passion and expertise of our workforce. Today, we celebrate what’s been achieved so far and look forward to an even brighter future here in Oxford – the heart of MINI production.”

The plant’s automotive history dates back to 1913 when the great designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist William Morris (later Lord Nuffield), produced its first car, a “Bullnose” Morris, near today’s present state-of-the-art MINI production facility. The classic Mini was produced at Oxford from 1959 until 1968 with a peak output of 94,889 cars during 1966/67.

Today, more than 4,500 people are employed at the site in Cowley, which manufactures around 1,000 cars a day, including three and five door MINIs, the MINI Clubman and its first all-wheel drive All4 model – and the high-performance MINI John Cooper Works.

Three UK plants have had a part to play in MINI production – Hams Hall near Birmingham makes engines, Swindon produces body pressings and sub-assemblies for MINI, and this all comes together at Oxford with body shell production, paint and final assembly. Together these plants have helped to generate and sustain employment for thousands of people directly and indirectly though the wider supply chain and retailers.

Between 2012 and 2015 BMW Group invested £750 million at the plants, taking investment in UK production to £1.75 billion since 2000. At Oxford this has included a state-of-the-art paintshop, a high-technology body building facility, a new final assembly area, a new logistics centre, Quality and Engineering Centre and the MINIcademy, where the plant’s apprentices are trained.

Joining Technician Chris Wherritt is one of 22 current plant associates who began their careers as apprentices in 2001.

Chris said: “Starting my apprenticeship straight from school was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. After all, 2001 was a big year for the plant — I knew it would be a big change but I wasn’t aware at the time just how successful the new MINI was going to be. I already had a position secured for after my apprenticeship when the 2001 MINI rolled off the production line, and the launch was all over the news — that’s when I knew both the MINI and I had a bright future ahead of us.”

Helen Evans, currently in her first year as an engineering apprentice, said: “I’ve always been fascinated by cars and so seeing MINI’s transformation while still paying homage to the original has been really interesting. It’s been a great experience working at the plant so far and I’m really excited to see how my career with MINI will evolve in the future.”

The first MINIs – which were registered with ‘Y’ prefixed number plates – are now considered by many enthusiasts and fans of the brand to be modern classics.

MINI enthusiast Tanya Field, whose husband Jason works at the plant in IT, is working to set up a new club – Y REGister – to bring together owners of MINIs made in Oxford in 2001.

Tanya said: “Today is a wonderful milestone for MINI Plant Oxford. The first MINIs are 15 years old and are now becoming modern classics and are increasingly collectable. The creation of the Y REGister shows the growing interest in these MINIs and the heritage of the modern MINI.  As someone who’s passionate about the plant’s heritage, this is something that’s really important to me.”

Editor’s notes

  • MINI is the only car in the segment that offers Head Up Display, which projects important information into the driver’s line of vision, thus eliminating the need to take their eyes off the road.
  • The John Cooper Works Hatch has the best power to weight ratio in the segment as well as the highest top speed and the best acceleration of a non 4-wheel drive car in the segment.
  • MINI Cooper D is the fastest accelerating car to be sub 100kg / km in the segment.
  • MINI Touch Controller enables users to draw in postcodes using their fingertips.

 


MINI pricing from 2002 to 2016

2015 MINI lineup

MINI has released all of the 2016 model prices and we have compiled the MINI model pricing figures in the US since the launch in March 2002. The prices include the Destination and Handling Fee shown.

Some interesting notes:

  • There was a mid-year price increase in 2004 (as shown in the table).
  • Since MY2011, the MINI Cooper Hardtop ($20,100) is more expensive than the MY2002 MINI Cooper S Hardtop ($19,850).
  • The only price that went down from the previous year was the 2010 MINI John Cooper Works Convertible (from $34,950 to $34,700).
  • Prices remained the same from 2007 to 2008 and from 2015 to 2016.
  • The highest ever base price is for the 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Roadster at $37,100.
  • The 2013 and 2014 MINI Cooper Clubvan was priced at $25,985 before the D&H Fee (which increased from $700 to $795 on May 1, 2013).

 

MINI pricing from 2002 to 2016


MINI USA announced MINI Clubman Pricing

MINI at IAA Frankfurt 2015

Prices are before the $850 Destination and Handling fee.

MINI Cooper Clubman – $24,100
MINI Cooper S Clubman – $27,650

Read the BMW Group PressClub USA press release:

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 25, 2015… MINI USA announced pricing today on its all-new 2016 MINI Clubman with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,100 for the Cooper model. The most spacious and versatile MINI every built, the new MINI Clubman is the first MINI to enter the compact premium segment. It is both longer and wider than previous MINI models and offers premium quality and craftsmanship in every detail for under $25,000. The Cooper S variant will start at $27,650.  All prices exclude the $850 Destination & Handling fee.

“The premium quality and value of the new MINI Clubman will set the standard for the premium compact segment going forward,” said Patrick McKenna, Department Head, Product Planning & Events, MINI USA. “MINI defined the premium small car segment with the relaunch of the Hardtop back in 2002 and the new Clubman will help us redefine the notion of “premium” with nearly bespoke levels of customization.”

Like every MINI model in the product line up, all options are available a la carte, as well as in bundled packages. This means customers can decide to pay for only what they select and are not forced into more expensive packages that include equipment they don’t want or need. The new MINI Clubman also features a number of special upholsteries that have been developed specifically for the vehicle, including a smooth-grained Indigo blue-dyed leather with diamond-stitching in the pattern of classic English Chesterfield sofas, and a rich Burgundy leather with environmentally friendly Dinamica trim.

While the new MINI Clubman is longer and wider than any other MINI model, the newest member of the MINI family endured extensive testing on the Nürburgring in Germany, the Circuit of Miramas in France and the Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK, as well as the legendary roads of Wales. This testing was conducted to ensure that the new MINI Clubman maintained the legendary “fun to drive” handling that enthusiasts expect on the road.

The new MINI Clubman will be powered by BMW Group-developed three- and four-cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology engines, and like all MINI models and trims, will come standard with an efficient six-speed manual transmission. Meanwhile, the Cooper S variant will offer an optional 8-speed automatic or 8-speed sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters. This high tech and efficient sporty transmission is not only a first for MINI, but also a rarity in the segment.

The new MINI Clubman also comes with an array of standard equipment, including:

Cooper:

  • Six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching function
  • MINI Connected infotainment system with 6.5-inch high-resolution display, third-party app support, Bluetooth audio streaming, and voice control
  • Leather-wrapped three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and gearshift lever
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Keyless ignition
  • 12-color ambient interior lighting
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • 16” forged alloy wheels in “Loop Spoke” design
  • Carbon Black leatherette upholstery
  • MINI Driving modes with Green, Mid, and Sport settings
  • Automatic headlights

Cooper S:

  • Six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching function
  • MINI Connected infotainment system with 6.5-inch high-resolution display, third-party app support, Bluetooth audio streaming, and voice control
  • Sport seats with increased bolstering
  • 17” forged alloy wheels in silver “Vent Spoke” design or black “Net Spoke” design
  • Leather-wrapped three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and gearshift lever
  • MINI Driving modes with Green, Mid, and Sport settings
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Automatic headlights
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Halogen fog lights
  • Keyless ignition
  • 12-color ambient interior lighting
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Chrome-tipped dual exhaust outlets
  • Cooper S front fascia with hexagonal grille mesh, chrome surround, additional brake ventilation ducts
  • Carbon Black leatherette upholstery

In addition to the standard equipment and a la carte options, several packages are available, including:

  • Sport Package – Cooper

17” alloy wheels in silver Vent Spoke design or black Net Spoke design
LED Headlights and taillights

Sport seats with leatherette upholstery

Dynamic Damper Control adjustable suspension

  • Sport Package – Cooper S

18” alloy wheels in silver or black Star Spoke design

LED Headlights, taillights, and fog lights

Dynamic Damper Control adjustable suspension

  • Premium Package

Dual-pane panoramic sunroof

12-speaker, 410-watt harman/kardon audio system

Comfort Access keyless entry with hands-free Easy Opener for split rear doors.

  • Technology Package

8.8-inch high-resolution widescreen display

Turn-by-turn navigation with real time-traffic information

MINI Connected XL with support for Journey Mate companion app and the full MINI Connected app portfolio

Rear-view camera and rear parking sensors

The Clubman will go on sale in January 2016 at MINI dealers across the U.S. Customers looking to build or pre-order a new MINI Clubman can use the configurator now available at MINIUSA.com or visit their local MINI dealer. For full vehicle specifications, please see the detailed product news release here.


Revised Fuel Economy Figures for the MINI Hardtop

MINI F56 debut

After testing, the EPA has forced MINI to release revised fuel economy figures for the new MINI Hardtop (F56) for last year’s model.  From the EPA website:

During EPA fuel economy audit testing, the 2014 BMW Mini Cooper 3-Door was found to have values that differed from those submitted to EPA at the time of certification. Specifically, EPA conducted road-load audits of Mini vehicles produced by BMW in the 2014 model year. The Mini Cooper 3-door was found to have road-loads (i.e. aerodynamic drag, tire rolling resistance, and driveline friction) which exceeded EPA audit criteria when compared to the values originally reported by BMW at the time of certification. Both BMW and EPA performed emissions and fuel economy testing of the affected models using the road-loads determined in the production vehicle audit. While these vehicles were found to be in compliance with the emissions standards, the fuel economy label values were affected. The specific changes to fuel economy window stickers are listed in the table below.

2014 MINI Hardtop Fuel Economy Values Updates

 

 


2015 MINI Pricing

MINI Pricing 2015

Days away from ordering availability and weeks away from the start of production of the 2015 model year, MINI USA released prices for the entire line-up.

Some important changes for 2015 include:

  • Rain Sensor & Automatic Climate Control are now standard for all models.
  • Ice Blue, Oxford Green, Royal Grey, and True Blue are no longer available.
  • New colors are Jungle Green and Midnight Gray, available on the Countryman.
  • Starlight Blue is now available on the Countryman.
  • ALL4 Exterior Styling option is new for the Countryman for $500.
  • The side scuttles, front headlights, rear taillight surrounds and roof rails are now available in Piano Black gloss on the Countryman and Paceman for an additional $250.
  • The 17” 5-Star Triangle Spoke Silver wheels are now standard on the Cooper and Cooper S Countryman and Paceman.
  • The 17” 5-Star Double Spoke wheels are discontinued.
  • MINI Yours Vanity Spoke 2-tone wheels are now offered for the Cooper ($2,000) and Cooper S ($1,500).
  • Vehicles with either screen (8.8” or 6.5”) will be required to take Rear-view Camera and Park Distance Control as well.

 
Download the complete MINI Pricing 2015 (PDF).


MINI Wheel Guide updated for 2014

15" Heli Spoke Silver 16" Loop Spoke Silver 16" Victory Spoke Silver 16" Victory Spoke Black 17" Tentacle Spoke Silver
17" Cosmos Spoke Silver 17" Cosmos Spoke Black 18" Cone Spoke Silver 18" JCW Cross Spoke Burnished Jet Black

When MINI redesigned the MINI Hardtop for 2014, one of the changes included the replacement of of the traditional four-lug MINI hub with a five-lug hub (begun with the MINI Countryman and Paceman).  This small change meant all new wheels for the Hardtop were needed. These new wheels include:

  • 15″ Heli Spoke Silver
  • 16″ Loop Spoke Silver
  • 16″ Victory Spoke Silver
  • 16″ Victory Spoke Black
  • 17″ Tentacle Spoke Silver
  • 17″ Cosmos Spoke Silver
  • 17″ Cosmos Spoke Black
  • 18″ Cone Spoke Silver
  • 18″ JCW Cross Spoke Burnished Jet Black

View our MINI Wheel Guide updated for 2014.

Hubcap Apple Green Hub Cap Bright Orange Hub Cap Bright Yellow Hub Cap Chili Red

MINI pricing from 2002 to 2014

MINI lineup

With MINI moving into its third generation starting with the 2014 MINI Hardtop, we have compiled the MINI model pricing figures in the US since the launch in March 2002. The prices shown are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) which includes the Destination and Handling Fee shown.

Some interesting notes:

  • There was a mid-year price increase in 2004 (as shown in the table).
  • Since MY2011, the MINI Cooper Hardtop ($20,100) is more expensive than the MY2002 MINI Cooper S Hardtop ($19,850).
  • The only price that went down from the previous year was the 2010 MINI John Cooper Works Convertible (from $34,950 to $34,700).
  • Prices remained the same from 2007 to 2008.
  • The highest ever base price is for the 2013 and 2014 MINI John Cooper Works Roadster at $36,495.

MINI pricing from 2002 to 2004


MINI USA sales from 2002 to 2013

 MINI Cooper 2001-2013

 

Now that MINI USA has released its sales figures for 2013, let’s look at the yearly sales since the launch in 2002.

MINI USA had its best sales figures ever in 2013, just barely beating the previous year’s record sales by less than 1%.  Annual sales in the US have risen steadily since launch with only two years having declines in sales: -4.0% in 2006 (the last year of the first generation) and -16.4% more recently in 2009 due mainly to the poor economy.  Sales have increased for the past four years as the economy has improved and MINI has launched more models.  The MINI Countryman sales figures have been strong, but it’s unclear how many sales of other models it cannibalized, especially those of the MINI Clubman.  With the model changeover, the production delay of the third-generation Hardtop, and the lack of a MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop in the lineup, MINI USA will be hard-pressed to top its 2013 sales figures.

In the twelve model years since the MINI USA launch on March 22, 2002, MINI has sold 553,750 vehicles.

 

 

calendar year USA deliveries change from previous year launch to date
2002 24,590 n/a 24,590
2003 36,010 46.4% 60,600
2004 36,032 0.1% 96,632
2005 40,820 13.0% 137,452
2006 39,171 -4.0% 176,623
2007 42,045 7.3% 218,668
2008 54,077 28.6% 272,745
2009 45,225 -16.4% 317,970
2010 45,644 0.9% 363,614
2011 57,511 26.0% 421,125
2012 66,123 15.0% 487,248
2013 66,502 0.6% 553,750

Tomorrow we will have MINI USA sales figures by model (body style).


comparing BMW 1-Series and MINI Hardtop front overhang

2014 MINI Hardtop and BMW 1-Series front overhang

MINI has always been known for its bulldog stance with its wheels pushed out to the corners of the car.  Since the early spy photos of the third-generation MINI Hardtop (F56), there has been much discussion about the growth of the model, especially with the front overhang.  The longer overhang and the height of the bonnet have grown to meet European pedestrian safety standards.  MINI acknowledges that the new Hardtop’s front overhang has grown but that it is still much shorter than its competitors.  But how does it compare to BMW’s own 1-Series?

Comparing the published specifications for the current BMW 1-Series Coupe with those of the 2014 MINI Hardtop, we find something surprising.  The MINI Cooper’s front overhang is 749 mm, which is only 2 mm shorter than the 1-Series’ front overhang of 751 mm.  However, the longer 757 mm front overhang of the MINI Cooper S is actually 6 mm longer than the BMW’s.

We’ll have more on the MINI Hardtop dimensions and specifications soon.