Fifty years ago today, the first Mini rolled off the production line at Cowley, now called Plant Oxford.
For the first time in half a century that very car is returning to its birthplace for a celebration of 50 years of production. The Mini Minor, finished in Old English White and carrying the registration number 621 AOK, is at Plant Oxford for the day to mark its birthday in style.
Plant Oxford built 602,817 Minis from 1959 to 1968, before production was moved to Longbridge. Since 2001 more than 1.4 million new Minis have been built at the production facility and in total, more than six million classic and new Minis have been sold since the car first went on sale in 1959.
BMW Group member of the Board of Management for Production, Frank-Peter Arndt, was at Oxford today to celebrate with the Plant.
“Anniversaries are always a wonderful opportunity to look back at the past. But on days like today, it’s also good to look to the future. Therefore, our objective is absolutely clear: We are going to continue the success story of Mini and continue to strengthen it,” Mr Arndt said. “Where is Mini going? Where will it be in 10, 20 or even another 50 years’ time? Perhaps it’s rather ambitious to look that far ahead, but one thing is certain, Mini is a brand not only with a great tradition, but also a fantastic future.”
“Little did anyone know just how popular Sir Alec Issigonis’s car for the people would be – or that half a century later it would be reborn as the Mini and once again be built in Oxford,” said Dr Jürgen Hedrich, Plant Oxford’s managing director. “This is a momentous day in the plant and car’s history. Everyone at the plant is proud to be part of both the heritage and the future of this car.”