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Mini Oxford Plant Celebrates 100 years Of Production

Production Of Such Makes As Austin Healey, Triumph, MG, Mini, Rover And More

Toni Avery
Mar 13, 2013 SHARE

While the BMW-owned Mini has been around for many years and helped to revive the motor manufacturing industry in the British Midlands, its Oxford assembly plant pre-dates most other buildings of its type, continually producing cars for 100 years but switching to war production in the 1940s.

Black_and_white_factory_picture Photo 2/5   |   Mini Oxford Plant Celebrates 100 years Of Production

Founded by William Morris in 1913 to build his Morris Oxford, he owned the factory until 1952 when Morris Motors merged with rival Austin to form the British Motor Company. BMC went through several name changes and mergers with Rover, Land Rover, MG and Triumph before morphing into British Leyland.

That company would later be renamed as Rover, before it was bought by BMW. Land Rover and Jaguar would be sold to Ford, MG eventually went to the Chinese and BMW kept Mini. It was a rather sordid affair that left a bad taste for many but rising from the ashes as some very strong carmakers thanks to the revival of Mini, Jaguar and Land Rover into world class companies under their new ownership.

After a century of production, Mini Oxford has some impressive numbers. It has manufactured more than 11.65 million cars since 1913, including 2.25 million Minis.

Mini_factory Photo 3/5   |   Mini Oxford Plant Celebrates 100 years Of Production

Since its inception in 1913, the factory has also produced cars for Austin Healey, Triumph, MG, Mini, Rover, Vanden Plas and many more. The first car ever produced was the Bullnose Morris Oxford, which debuted on March 28, 1913.

Here's a list of some of the cars produced that made a significant impact:

'Bullnose' Morris Oxford 1913-26: First production car to leave the plant became known as the Bullnose because of its signature rounded radiator cowling. By 1924 Morris became Britain's best-selling marque.

Morris Minor 1928-32: Known as an affordable car, the Minor's price was only €100 (about $130). Along with the Austin Seven it was the most attainable in the UK.
Morris Minor 1948-71: This car was ahead of its time in terms of handling, steering, brakes and cabin space. Achieving a milestone, more than 1 million were built.
BMC Mini 1959-69: This street-legal go-kart came equipped with a transverse front-wheel drive powertrain and was considered roomy for its tiny size. It became the UK's best selling car and spawned a culturl movement that can still be seen today.
Morris Marina 1971-80: The Marina was a top-five best-selling car for several years, selling more than 1 million examples. Mechanically simple, it came in both coupe and sedan body styles but is now lampooned on BBC Top Gear where its dull reputation didn't always win fans.
Rover 75 1999-2000: A unique Rover produced under BMW ownership. Although the car improved quality and dynamic standards for the brand, production ended prematurely after the company changed hands. Today it continues in China.
MINI 2001-06: The modern-day Mini is more sophisticated car than its predecessor but maintains the ethos of the original in terms of exterior styling and space utilization.

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By Toni Avery
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