Volume production of the Mini One and Mini Cooper begins today at BMW Group's Oxford plant on schedule for a UK launch in July and a European launch in September.
Around 30,000 cars are planned for production this year from the plant which has seen a £230 million investment programme in new production facilities for the Mini since July last year. This is in addition to the previous investment programme during the late 1990s, including £80 million for a new paintshop.
Dr Herbert Diess, managing director of the Oxford plant, said: "The Mini has met all the stringent BMW pre-production quality targets and as a result we are able to start producing cars for dealers and their customers on schedule. We have successfully completed our preparation of the plant, our employees and our suppliers and we will see production levels increasing progressively as we move towards the UK sales launch for the car in July."
The plant has a total capacity of around 100,000 cars per annum. A number of suppliers assemble components inside the factory. UK suppliers account for around 40% of all purchased material of the Mini range. The remaining 60% of the components, except the Brazilian built engine, are predominently delivered from the EU area.
Employing 2,500 people, BMW Group Plant Oxford has begun a campaign to recruit up to 1,800 additional temporary workers depending on the market demand for the car.