Cowley full of pride as the new Mini scoops top prize

Tom Bradford, Mini body shop production manager with the award-winning model. Picture: OX68654 Mark Hemsworth

Tom Bradford, Mini body shop production manager with the award-winning model. Picture: OX68654 Mark Hemsworth Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Business Editor. Call me on 01865 425460

THE Cowley-built Mini Hatch has been hailed as “head and shoulders above the competition” after picking up a top industry award.

Bosses were last night celebrating after the third generation of the car was crowned Auto Express Car of the Year 2014 to the delight of workers at the plant where special celebrations will be laid on marking the achievement.

Tom Bradford, body shop production manager, said: “It is fantastic news. We are all over the moon and it gives us a sense of pride.

“We have been committed to this new car for years in terms of preparation and training and development and this is a vindication of all that effort. People appreciate what we have delivered here.”

Mini parent company BMW has invested £750m in the production of the new car launched in November 2013 and has built 30,000sq m of extra manufacturing space on to the body shop to accommodate it.

But even with that, demand is expected to exceed supply quickly with the car now being on sale in 114 countries worldwide, the latest additions being Angola, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

As a result, a new plant in Holland will open tomorrow, which is set to boost production to more than 400,000 cars a year.

Mini spokesman Maarten Abele added: “Oxford is no longer capable of meeting the clamour for this car. The car will be sold in even more places and the new plant will help deliver cars more quickly to the customer.”

Oxford Mail:

  • The body shop at BMW Mini at Cowley

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith greeted the news as “fantastic”.

He said: “It is a very fitting tribute to the effort put in by everybody at the plant. The Mini has exceeded the expectations of everybody at BMW and the fact they are starting to manufacture in Holland is because of the scale of its success in Oxford.”

As well picking up the overall Car of the Year title, the Mini was also voted Best Premium Small Car at the awards.

The car costs from £13,750 and went on sale in November 2013.

Auto Express editor Steve Fowler said the new version of the car was “way ahead” of rivals such as the Fiat 500 and Vauxhall Adam.

He added: “There are a lot of small, premium cars coming on the market but the Mini is head and shoulders above them.

“This generation and the last may look similar but that is about it as the new car is so advanced. It has the fittings you would expect on a much more expensive car and there is masses of technology on board.

“We love the way it drives and it is also built brilliantly in Britain – a car the UK can be proud of.”

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Comments (7)

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4:33pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Myron Blatz says...

Just a great, great pity that the Mini isn't British-owned. Instead, the government of the day allowed assset-stripper British Aerospace to cherry-pick and sell-on to German manufacturer, BMW - who ironically supplied engines in WW2 to many of the aircraft who bombed UK towns and cities.
Just a great, great pity that the Mini isn't British-owned. Instead, the government of the day allowed assset-stripper British Aerospace to cherry-pick and sell-on to German manufacturer, BMW - who ironically supplied engines in WW2 to many of the aircraft who bombed UK towns and cities. Myron Blatz
  • Score: -4

8:57pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

It's not a Mini, it's a BMW
It's not a Mini, it's a BMW Dilligaf2010
  • Score: -4

8:58pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

They might call it a Mini, but it's quite the opposite
They might call it a Mini, but it's quite the opposite Dilligaf2010
  • Score: -4

10:52pm Wed 16 Jul 14

the wizard says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
Just a great, great pity that the Mini isn't British-owned. Instead, the government of the day allowed assset-stripper British Aerospace to cherry-pick and sell-on to German manufacturer, BMW - who ironically supplied engines in WW2 to many of the aircraft who bombed UK towns and cities.
Maybe so, but you are forgetting the Bouncing Bombs were made on the Mini site, with locals brains. Touche.
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: Just a great, great pity that the Mini isn't British-owned. Instead, the government of the day allowed assset-stripper British Aerospace to cherry-pick and sell-on to German manufacturer, BMW - who ironically supplied engines in WW2 to many of the aircraft who bombed UK towns and cities.[/p][/quote]Maybe so, but you are forgetting the Bouncing Bombs were made on the Mini site, with locals brains. Touche. the wizard
  • Score: 1

11:03pm Wed 16 Jul 14

Tanya Field says...

We have 10 classic Minis in our family and the new MINI is a credit to the classic Mini. Clearly with all the safety regs etc, it can't be like the old Mini (also people expect much more from cars nowadays), but it has the DNA, so to speak.

This is great news for the general Mini/MINI community and fabulous for Cowley and all those involved with bringing this new MINI to the market. As much as I love my Maestros, Montegos etc, I have to admit that Cowley is now building the best cars that they have ever built, or at least since the 1930s/1940s - this MINI is world beating.

Cowley is now in its 102nd year of motor manufacture - how many car factories in this country that started out over 100 years ago are still remaining, let along doing as well as Cowley? It won't be long until Cowley produces it's 12th million car.
We have 10 classic Minis in our family and the new MINI is a credit to the classic Mini. Clearly with all the safety regs etc, it can't be like the old Mini (also people expect much more from cars nowadays), but it has the DNA, so to speak. This is great news for the general Mini/MINI community and fabulous for Cowley and all those involved with bringing this new MINI to the market. As much as I love my Maestros, Montegos etc, I have to admit that Cowley is now building the best cars that they have ever built, or at least since the 1930s/1940s - this MINI is world beating. Cowley is now in its 102nd year of motor manufacture - how many car factories in this country that started out over 100 years ago are still remaining, let along doing as well as Cowley? It won't be long until Cowley produces it's 12th million car. Tanya Field
  • Score: 4

12:58am Thu 17 Jul 14

Big AC says...

Tanya Field wrote:
We have 10 classic Minis in our family and the new MINI is a credit to the classic Mini. Clearly with all the safety regs etc, it can't be like the old Mini (also people expect much more from cars nowadays), but it has the DNA, so to speak.

This is great news for the general Mini/MINI community and fabulous for Cowley and all those involved with bringing this new MINI to the market. As much as I love my Maestros, Montegos etc, I have to admit that Cowley is now building the best cars that they have ever built, or at least since the 1930s/1940s - this MINI is world beating.

Cowley is now in its 102nd year of motor manufacture - how many car factories in this country that started out over 100 years ago are still remaining, let along doing as well as Cowley? It won't be long until Cowley produces it's 12th million car.
Tanya has it spot on.
[quote][p][bold]Tanya Field[/bold] wrote: We have 10 classic Minis in our family and the new MINI is a credit to the classic Mini. Clearly with all the safety regs etc, it can't be like the old Mini (also people expect much more from cars nowadays), but it has the DNA, so to speak. This is great news for the general Mini/MINI community and fabulous for Cowley and all those involved with bringing this new MINI to the market. As much as I love my Maestros, Montegos etc, I have to admit that Cowley is now building the best cars that they have ever built, or at least since the 1930s/1940s - this MINI is world beating. Cowley is now in its 102nd year of motor manufacture - how many car factories in this country that started out over 100 years ago are still remaining, let along doing as well as Cowley? It won't be long until Cowley produces it's 12th million car.[/p][/quote]Tanya has it spot on. Big AC
  • Score: 2

12:42pm Thu 17 Jul 14

EvangelinePagano says...

my Aunty Amelia got white Kia Cadenza Sedan by working part time online... learn the facts here now

=======>>>>>> x.co/54nPd
my Aunty Amelia got white Kia Cadenza Sedan by working part time online... learn the facts here now =======>>>>>> x.co/54nPd EvangelinePagano
  • Score: 0

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