MINI to celebrate the centenary of Cowley


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    [B]MINI will be celebrating a centenary of car production at its factory in Oxford. BMW may call the factory ‘Plant Oxford', but most car enthusiasts still refer to it as Cowley – the site that the first ‘Bullnose' Morris rolled off the line in 1913.[/B]
    The main centenary date will be 28 March. This is exactly 100 years after the first Morris was built. Plant Oxford will host a commemorative exhibition, and MINI wants to hear from ex-employees and the families of ex-employees, who would like to share photos and memories from the plant over the last 100 years.
    Since 1913 tens of thousands of people – 26,000 at the peak in the 1950s and 60s – have worked on the site building over 11,000,000 [URL=''%5D%5BCOLOR=#009900%5D%5BU%5Dcars%5B/U%5D%5B/COLOR%5D%5BIMG%5D Cars built at Cowley have been a diverse bunch – with marques including Austin-Healey, MG, Wolseley, Riley, Austin, Mini, Vanden Plas, Princess, Triumph, Rover, Honda, and Sterling. Morris is the most associated with Cowley, but more Minis (classic and post-BMW) have been built at the factory.


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    Start of Car Centenary Cavalcade at MINI Plant Oxford[/B]
    40 Oxford built vehicles will assemble early morning of the 29th March at MINI Plant Oxford. The Bullnose and MINI will be waved off to go to Hollow Way where they will start an reenactment of when the first ever Bullnose left Hollow Way on 29th March 1913. However, instead of driving to London as in 1913, they will drive to Nuffield Place to join the Bullnose Morris Club's celebrations. The 40 vehicles will then leave MINI Plant Oxford to drive to the City Centre to form a static display for the day taking a route that will pass by as many significant places as possible, including the Nuffield Needle, old North and South Works, Hollow Way, the Nuffield Hospital and the Longwall garage.

  3. [B][SIZE=3]MINI Plant Oxford Celebrates 100 Years of Building Cars[/SIZE][/B]
    'MINI Plant Oxford celebrates 100 years of car-making this March, against a background of rising production, increased investment and continuing expansion. Today, Plant Oxford employs 3700 associates who manufacture up to 900 MINIs every day, and has contributed over 2.25 million MINIs to the tally of over 11.65 million cars that the factory has produced since 1913. The first car built at the factory, a Bullnose Morris Oxford, emerged on 28 March 1913 and has been followed by cars from a wide range of famous British brands – and one Japanese – including MG, Wolseley, Riley, Austin, Austin Healey, Mini, Vanden Plas, Princess, Triumph, Rover, Sterling and Honda, besides founding marque Morris and MINI. The Pressed Steel Company subsidiary occupying the same Cowley complex also built bodyshells for Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, MG, Standard-Triumph, Ford and Hillman, as well as tooling dies for Alfa Romeo. The plant has a long and impressive history of shipping cars abroad that has resulted in more than 1.7 million MINIs going to overseas customers.'
    [B]More details and photo gallery here:[/B]

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    A Bullnose Morris Oxford, the first car to be manufactured by William Morris on 28th March 1913 and a MINI Roadster, the most recent car to enter production in 2012 are displayed to celebrate 100 years of car manufacturing in Oxford on March 27th 2013

    'One hundred years ago the first ‘Bullnose' Morris Oxford was built by William Morris just a few hundred metres from where the modern MINI plant stands.
    With a weekly production of just 20 vehicles in 1913, the business grew rapidly and over the century 11.65 million cars were produced, bearing 13 different British brands and one Japanese. Almost 500.000 people have worked at the plant in the past 100 years and in the early 1960s numbers peaked at 28,000. Today, Plant Oxford employs 3,700 associates who manufacture up to 900 MINIs every day.
    Over the years an array of famous cars were produced including the Morris Minor, the Mini, the Morris Marina, the Princess, the Austin Maestro and today's MINI. At various stages in its history, the plant also built Tiger Moth aircraft, ambulances, parachutes and iron lungs.
    Today, Plant Oxford is the heart of MINI production with the manufacture of the MINI Hatch, Convertible, Clubman, Clubvan, Roadster and Coupé. The new bodyshop represents the lion's share of BMW Group's £750 million UK investment programme, preparing the company's manufacturing facilities for the next generation Mk3 MINI 1,000 new robots are currently being installed in this facility.
    Among the special guests attending the opening of the exhibition was former employee Eric Lord who celebrated his 93rd birthday today having worked at the plant from when he was 20 years old in 1940 to his retirement in 1979.'
    [URL=''%5DMINI Plant Oxford leads celebration of 100 years of car-making in… – Living Polo[/URL]

    [B]A ride through Cowley history at car producer's centenary – Oxford Mail:[/B]
    [URL=''%5DA ride through Cowley history at car producer's centenary (From Oxford Mail)[/URL]

    In 1959, the first Mini was produced, quickly becoming a cult car bolstering demand and in turn resulting in the workforce soaring to some 28,000 people. But the company ran into trouble, with industrial relations strained, so in the end the government pushed for a merger with Leyland in 1968. British Leyland was born.

    [B]Cowley Centenary celebration[/B]
    [B]Key facts[/B]
    '602,817 Classic Minis were produced at Oxford in 10 years of production.'

    'Three Issigonis designed cars achieved sales of over 1,000,000, Morris Minor, Mini and Austin 11/1300'

    'Only three colours were available for the first three years of Oxford built Mini in 1959 – Clipper Blue, Cherry Red and Old English White.'

    'The two millionth new MINI was driven off the Oxford production line by Prime Minister David Cameron in August 2011.'

    '1.7 million new MINIs have been exported since its launch in 2001 to 107 different countries from Chile to China.'

    'Over 2,250,000 MINIs built so far.'

    [B]Many more key facts are listed on AROnline:[/B]

  5. When I took part in the Cowley Convoy on Saturday I had the chance of seeing the exhibition at MINI Oxford. There's a few cars on display including a Bull Nose Morris, a Princess, a couple of Mk1 Minis, a cut away Minor and a couple of MINIs. There's also plenty of pictures and info with the exhibits.




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