The Pepper White MINI Cooper S Convertible destined for its owner in Australia was the 766,290th vehicle built at the plant since MINI production started in April 2001. Nearly all MINIs manufactured at the plant are built to a specific customer order.
It is the first time that the plant has built over 200,000 units in one year since 1988.
The Oxford plant’s managing director Dr Anton Heiss said: "We're delighted to have reached this important milestone in line with the demands of the market. BMW Group Plant Oxford has beaten its initial forecast of a maximum production volume of 100,000 units every full production year since MINI’s launch and has now doubled that figure in 2005.
“It’s thanks to the hard work, flexibility and commitment from the plant’s associates that we have been able to achieve this. It’s a great way to end the year for everyone at the plant."
The plant’s growth in recent years has been based on continuous efficiency improvements in the production process and innovative working time models.
Between 2000 and 2004, the BMW Group invested a total of £280 million in the production of MINI vehicles in Oxford. In February of this year it was announced that a further £100 million is to be invested by 2007 adding a further 200 jobs to the plant’s existing workforce of 4,500.
Most of this investment is in further optimisation of production capacities, allowing the plant to react to the high demand for MINI throughout the world, as well as increasing production flexibility of the various MINI model variants.
To allow this work to progress and minimise disruption to production, the plant is extending its Christmas shutdown and will re-open on 13 January 2006.Published 19 December 2005