The Switch

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF PLANT OXFORD.

EIGHT SECRETS FROM BEHIND THE SCENES.

2021 is a pretty special year for us. It’s both the 20th anniversary of production at Plant Oxford, as well as two decades since our modern design was launched.  

They say time flies when you’re having fun. For us, that’s certainly true. To mark this milestone, we’ve pulled together eight of the most amazing secrets from behind the scenes at Plant Oxford, with a little help from long-standing team member Tom Festa. 

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1. THERE’S ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE. ISH.

A MINI is born at Plant Oxford every 67 seconds. Which just so happens to be one of Tom’s favourite facts.

“Each MINI that rolls off the production line does so with its own character. Perfectly suited to the customer who ordered it.” – Tom Festa, Project Leader

2. MINI ASSOCIATES CREATE CONTRAST ROOFS BY HAND.

The production team at MINI is split into two parts; a cutting-edge robotic system and highly-skilled associates. Our robots bring fantastic precision and efficiency, but some tasks need a human touch.

When it comes to some of the more intricate jobs at Plant Oxford, like painting our signature contrast roofs, we rely on our skilled associates.

“Our associates make the business” Tom explains. “They bring creativity and problem-solving capabilities, which help turn challenging ideas into reality. Take our latest three-tone contrast roof for example – a totally unique MINI offering.”

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3. OUR OXFORD ABODE SHIPS TO OVER 110 COUNTRIES.

Where a MINI is born is often totally different to where it’ll end up. The Plant ships to an incredible 110+ countries, from Belgium to Brazil.

4. WE BUILD ADVENTURE-READY CARS.

Ok, so this might not be our best kept secret but the MINIs we make often live a life far beyond the tarmac. Many of our Plant Oxford creations are destined for big adventures.

“I’ve seen MINIs on the highest mountain range along the equator” Tom reveals. “We have MINI customers in Ecuador who love the iconic brand and enjoy driving MINIs along the Andean mountain roads.”

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5. SPECIAL EDITIONS ARE KIND OF OUR THING.

We love a special edition here at MINI. And when we have a vision, we know the talented team at Plant Oxford will have the skills to bring it to life. From the Paddy Hopkirk Special Edition Cooper S to the race flag-inspired MINI Checkmate, there’s been an array of amazing have been dozens and dozens of limited designs over the years.

Tom looks back on a couple of his favourites, “If I could bring a special edition MINI back, it’d be a toss-up between the MINI 50 Mayfair and MINI 50 Camden special editions for our 50 year celebrations” he goes on to explain “they captured the spirit of London’s swinging 60’s.”

6. THERE ARE COUNTLESS STYLE COMBINATIONS.

We let MINI drivers tailor their car to their taste, with countless exterior and interior style and colour combinations. “We also offer unique customisation options for customers to make their MINI completely unique” Tom adds.
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7. WE CREATE CUSTOM DESIGNS.

When looking back at custom creations over the past 20 years, Tom remembered the time Plant Oxford created some rather special MINI Clubman designs for the Peninsula Hotel Chain. “We colour matched them to the hotel. They had a refrigerated ‘cool box’ inside, as well as a special roof box so customers could maximize their shopping experience in the hotel’s urban cities.”

8. MINIS ARE FULL OF SECRETS.

This fact is a two-for-one. MINIs have some incredible, intricate details that drivers, old and new, may have yet to discover.

Tom’s favourite, which never fails to make him smile, is the ‘nod’ a MINI’s headlights make when you press to unlock.

And for our Electric drivers out there, did you know the noise MINI Electric makes when it starts up is sound engineered? The little jingle it makes is actually the word ‘MINI’ in morse code notes.

 

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There you have it. Eight amazing secrets from behind the scenes at Plant Oxford. For more insights and sneak peeks, be sure to follow Plant Oxford over on Instagram.

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Whether you're looking for city thrills or big adventure there's a MINI to suit you. Who's In?
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