“It’s a real privilege to drive this true British icon off the production line today,” said Cameron. “It is a fantastic symbol of the UK’s strength in the global automotive industry and a great British manufacturing success story”.
Never mind that the British automotive industry is now either dead and buried or owned by Indians, Chinese or, in MINI's case, Germans: a true politician knows that you must never let the truth ruin a good story.
BMW board member responsible for production Frank-Peter Arndt said: “Production of the two millionth MINI comes on the back of strong demand worldwide. Our recent announcement of an additional £500 million investment in our UK facilities demonstrates the important role that Oxford plays in our global production network.”
Of the two million units produced in the past decade, more than 1.5 million have been exported to over 90 countries worldwide. The Oxford plant, in which BMW has invested more than £1.5 billion ($2.4 million) since 2000, produces as many as 900 MINIs a day, with an annual capacity of over 200,000 units.
Everything you ever wanted to know about the MINI but were afraid to ask:
- The top five export markets for MINI in 2010 were the US, Germany, France, China and Italy.
- 2 million MINIs placed bumper-to-bumper would reach 4,626.7 miles, or 7,446 km, which is enough to stretch from Oxford to the Grand Canyon and go round the circumference of the planet Pluto.
- Stacked on top of each other, 2 million MINIs would be 318 times the height of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, and 3,398 times higher than the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
- Of the 2 million MINIs built in Oxford, you’d struggle to find two the same. With 14 body colors, 4 hard top roof colors, 3 convertible roof options, bonnet stripes and several wheel and interior trims, MINI twins are statistically rare.
- A MINI is born every 68 seconds.
- Each and every MINI consists of around 2,100 components. A total of 500 different robots and 3,700 associates join forces to create it, with 4,000 spot welds required to build each bodyshell. Every robot works to a tolerance of 0.05 mm –half the width of a human hair
- The most popular MINI color is Pepper White, followed by Midnight Black and Chili Red