The new Mini made its word debut at Mini’s Oxford plant in the UK. On hand to showcase and debut the updated Mini Cooper was British prime minister David Cameron.
Since the Mini is an iconic British sports car it’s not surprising Cameron was there. What you might find surprising is what BMW has done with the new Mini Cooper even if it doesn’t look like much. It sites on an all-new vehicle architecture , a new design and they are offering wider range of engine options for buyers. The new Mini is completely new from the ground up in an effort to compete with global brands moving into the space. (Well really the Fiat 500 but I don’t think any Mini owners will switch.)
“To ensure the new generation of MINI Hatch is as successful as its predecessors, we have made just subtle modifications to its design. But beneath the outer skin is a brand-new car with state-of-the-art technologies seen for the first time at a small car. ” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW Group’s board member for Mini and other BMW group brands.
The target market launch is for Spring 2014 and the new iteration aims to offer an enhanced improved comfort, better safety technology including pedestrian protection and innovative networking technology. Longer and wider than the Mini predecessor, the new model provides more interior space so you friends don’t complain in the back. If they do happen to complain just make sure you bring them over to the “Cult of Mini” and explain why the Mini Cooper is a great car (even if you know there are some bad things about it.) Extensively revised suspension technology, reduced weight and increased rigidity have intensified the typical Mini go-kart driving experience. This allows drivers to pretend they are in “The Italian Job” with Charlize Theron.
“I was lucky enough to get an early preview of the new Mini – a classic British icon – during a visit to the factory in Oxford last month. This £750 million investment is great news for both the local and wider economy, along with the 5,500 workers whose jobs are safeguarded by this launch.” said British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Cameron is referring to the £750 million (1,208,600,000 billion US dollar) investment that BMW put into 3 of it’s UK manufacturing facilities. This includes a brand new 1,000-robot body shop at the Mini Oxford Plant along with the debut of new technologies at the steel body pressings operation in Swindon, and new machining and assembly facilities to produce a new generation of 3 and 4-cylinder engines at the Hams Hall engine plant near Birmingham.
On top of all that there is a new state-of-the-art body shop at the Oxford plant. It will also benefit from upgrades to its paint shop, its final assembly area and from a series of initiatives reducing the operation’s carbon footprint and improving its waste management processes. The introduction of the new Mini Cooper has also seen a significant investment in retraining employees at the plant.
“The UK is the heart of MINI production – thanks to the experience, competence and strong commitment of all our employees.” said Harald Krueger, BMW Group’s board member for production.
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