The first Mini Five-Door Hatch has rolled off the assembly line at plant Oxford today, marking another phase in the roll-out of a £750 million (€938 million) investment program across BMW Group UK’s production facilities from 2011 to 2015.
Production of the new 5-door, which will go on sale in the autumn, starts shortly after Mini has begun making the all-new Hatch in its three-door version at the Oxford plant. The new model is the second member of the Mini family to be built on a new platform, which will also underpin BMW’s upcoming front-wheel drive models.
Mini says the modular architecture increases the flexibility of the body manufacturing process, allowing more models of greater variation to be produced more efficiently.
“This is an exciting day for us with the first ever 5-door MINI for the plant, which opens up a whole new market segment for the brand. BMW Group has invested in creating state-of-the-art technology and facilities at Oxford and Swindon for the launch of this new generation of MINI, demonstrating the company’s commitment to a long-term future for its UK production sites,” said Frank Bachmann, managing director of Mini Plants Oxford and Swindon.
To prepare for the new generation of Mini vehicles, a new bodyshop has been built at Oxford and significant investments have been made in facilities and technologies at Swindon, where the car’s body panels are pressed and a number of sub-assemblies made.
By Dan Mihalascu