MINI Plant Oxford celebrates start of production of the new MINI Cooper

Monday 11 March saw the start of production for the new, fifth generation MINI Cooper at the home of MINI, Plant Oxford.

 Associates at MINI Plant Oxford were joined by Head of MINI, Stefanie Wurst for a special on-site event in which the first three-door model was driven off the production line by Charlie Cooper, grandson of the legendary John Cooper, whose heritage inspired the Cooper moniker.

Commenting on the start of production, Stefanie Wurst, Head of MINI said, “This milestone underscores our commitment to our roots while propelling us into a dynamic future of driving. Plant Oxford is the heart of the MINI brand, and today, as we witness the birth of this new chapter, we renew our pledge to craftsmanship and the thrill of motoring."

Dr. Markus Grüneisl, Head of Plants Oxford and Swindon said, “We are delighted to welcome the new MINI Cooper to our lines in both Oxford and Swindon. The new MINI Cooper is an incredibly important car for our team and UK manufacturing. We are proud to produce this iconic car, loved all over the world.”

The new MINI Cooper is the latest generation to be built in the UK, with all three BMW Group UK manufacturing sites contributing to production: BMW Group Plant Swindon produces body pressings and sub-assemblies, while the latest highly-efficient three and four-cylinder petrol engines are built at BMW Group Plant Hams Hall in North Warwickshire. Finally, these parts come together at MINI Plant Oxford where body shell production, paint and final assembly take place.

Since the launch of the first modern MINI in 2001, over 4.4 million MINIs have been produced in Britain - including 150,000 MINI Electric models built between 2019 and 2023.

With its high level of flexibility, competitiveness and expertise, the MINI Oxford plant plays an important role in the BMW Group's production network, and is currently preparing to build two new all-electric MINI models from 2026. The BMW Group will then have invested a total of more than 3 billion GBP in the Swindon, Hams Hall and Oxford plants.

Announced last month, the new MINI Cooper arrives as the third member of the new MINI family, joining the MINI Cooper Electric and the new MINI Countryman. Available in two model variants: the MINI Cooper C and performance-enhanced MINI Cooper S, the latest three-door merges traditional brand values with innovative, future orientated technology.

The model’s exterior silhouette features clear surfaces, short overhangs, and a short bonnet which, combined with a contrasting long wheelbase, achieves the typical MINI proportions. Moving inside, the interior is minimalistic, with the entire cockpit focussed on just three elements: a revolutionary circular OLED display, the new Vescin steering wheel and the toggle bar. 

The New MINI Family will be introduced in South Africa from the second quarter of 2024.