This month marks the 100th year of vehicle production at Mini’s Oxford Plant in Oxford, UK – a plant that has seen it’s fair share of manufacturers and history pass through its great halls.
Officially opening on March 28, 1913 under operation of Morris Motors, the first Bullnose Morris Oxford rolled off the assembly line. From there, a wide range of British brands – and one Japanese brand – including MG, Wolseley, Riley, Austin, Austin Healey, Mini, Triumph, Rover, Sterling, and Honda produced vehicles there.
During WWII, the factory was retooled to produce the Tiger Moth training aircraft for the Royal Air Force. Also on site was the Produce Recovery Depot that handled crashed or damaged aircraft; even piecing together the wreckage of enemy Luftwaffe aircraft for intelligence purposes.
The 1960’s saw the plant boom with as many as 28,000 employees producing a variety of different models on site. A large majority of those vehicles were destined for other countries, catapulting the then-owner British Motor Corporation to one of the nation’s top exporters.
The plant was again retooled for the 2001 launch of BMW’s new Mini Cooper. Since then, the plant has produced no less than 1.7 million Minis and exported them to over 100 countries. To say the Oxford Plant has left a legacy on British motoring would be an understatement.