50 Years of Mini
Sir Alec Issigonis with the first Mini
1959 Morris Mini 850 cutaway
Austin Seven Countryman
10th May, 2009
Fifty years ago in England, the first Mini rolled off
the production line at Cowley (now called Plant Oxford).
For the first time in half a century that very car returned to its 'birthplace' for a celebration
of 50 years of production. The Mini Minor, finished in Old English White and carrying the
registration number 621 AOK, was at Plant Oxford for the day to mark its birthday in style.
Plant Oxford built 602,817 Minis from 1959 to 1968, before production was moved to Longbridge.
Since 2001 more than 1.4 million new Minis have been built at the production facility and in total,
more than six million classic and new Minis have been sold since the car first went on sale in
BMW Group member of the Board of Management for Production, Frank-Peter Arndt, was at Oxford to
celebrate with the Plant.
Arndt said: “Anniversaries are always a wonderful opportunity to look back at the past. But on
days like today, it’s also good to look to the future. Therefore, our objective is absolutely clear:
We are going to continue the success story of Mini and continue to strengthen it.”
“Where is Mini going? Where will it be in 10, 20 or even another 50 years’ time? Perhaps it’s
rather ambitious to look that far ahead, but one thing is certain, Mini is a brand not only with a
great tradition, but also a fantastic future.”
Dr Jürgen Hedrich, Plant Oxford’s managing director, said: “Little did anyone know just how
popular Sir Alec Issigonis’s car for the people would be – or that half a century later it would be
'reborn' as the Mini and once again be built in Oxford.”
“This is a momentous day in the plant and car’s history. Everyone at the plant is proud to be
part of both the heritage and the future of this car.”
Thousands of visitors from across the globe will also be celebrating Mini’s 50th birthday at
Mini United, which is being staged at Silverstone from 22nd-24th May. The festival welcomes Mini
owners and non-owners, and the stunning entertainment line-up is sure to attract visitors from
right around the world.