At its plant in Oxford, England, a momentous event had taken place as the 10 millionth MINI rolled off the production line - conveniently, as part of the company’s 60 Years Edition run of limited units. It was greeted at the end of conveyor by the classic MINI from 1959, their first small car ever manufactured.
The 2019 model year green and black 3-door hatch soon posed for a photo with most of the plant’s personnel and soon embarked on a road trip to the seaside town of Bristol along with 59 other MINIs, each representing a unique production year, to participate in the International Mini Meeting being held there on August 11th.
Since BMW’s acquisition of the Rover Group (the brand’s previous custodians after the collapse of British Leyland) and the introduction of the modern MINI hatch under the Munich automaker’s hand, roughly 5 million examples have been produced. However, during its long production run, over 5 million classic MINIs were made.
Since then, the MINI brand has expanded to become one of the leading premium marques focusing exclusively on more compact vehicles, though the permutations of the 3-door soon spawned the more practical 5-door and eventually saw the return of the Clubman and debut of the SUV-like Countryman.
There were other experiments to the formula in the intervening years since the MINI’s rebirth in 2000 with the R50, albeit brief ones, such as the Paceman, Roadster, and the Coupe, but the most successful have stayed the most true to the appeal of its original designer, Alec Issigonis. BMW say that 2018 saw 400,000 MINIs sold across 110 countries, nearly matching the fever sales pace of the classic MINI back in its heyday.
“Seeing the ten millionth vehicle of our brand come off the production line here in Oxford was a moment of pride for all the employees. Some of them have family members who were already producing the classic Mini at this site,” explained Peter Weber, Head of the MINI Plant Oxford. “This is a wonderful chapter in the history of MINI and proof of the passion that our customers have for this very special British motor car.”