|Mini Cooper founder||Alec Issigonis|
|Owners||British Leyland (1968–1986)
Rover Group (1986–1988)
British Aerospace (1988–1994)
|Mini Cooper official website||www.miniusa.com|
Who makes MINI Cooper?
An iconic British car make, MINI is the property of BMW. However, it wasn’t always this way. Originally MINI was constructed by British Motor Corporation. There were six standard models, some of them having performance versions. The name Cooper was given to the sports versions because the company collaborated with the racing legend John Cooper.
The MINI marque changed several owners, including British Motor Holdings, British Leyland, Rover Group, British Aerospace, and, finally the BMW Group, which purchased Rover Group (with the Mini brand) in 1994.
Where is MINI Cooper made?
As the MINI brand belongs to BMW, it might be logical to assume that it is made at the BMW plants around the world (and there is a plentitude of them). Yet, it is not true. In fact, there are no other MINI Cooper manufacturing plants in the whole world except for the one in Cowley, Oxfordshire, UK.
So, wherever you purchase your MINI, you may be sure that it was shipped right from that very plant. It is neither a giant factory, nor a small one. Its daily output typically doesn’t exceed 800 cars, but it may seem huge in comparison with such marques as Maserati making about 35 cars a day. The number of employees almost reaches 5000.
Where was the old Mini made?
The plan to make a compact car that would require less gasoline appeared because of gasoline shortage associated with the 1950s Suez Crisis. The author of the project was Leonard Lord, the CEO of the British Motor Company, while the core of the team included A. Issigonis, J. Daniels, and C. Kingham. They created the Mini prototype in 1957.
The production version was unveiled in 1959 and sold under the Austin and Morris marques. It was only in 1969 that Mini became a brand.
Initially the 2-door car was built at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in Great Britain. In the course of time, BMC also started to use its Victoria Park plant in Australia, as well as its Spanish plant (Authi). The car was growing more and more popular, so BMC needed to use new production sites. Some of the countries where Mini production sites were located are Belgium, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Yugoslavia. In addition to these, the company even used production facilities in such distant countries as South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Chile.
We should also mention the performance versions of the same car, the Mini Cooper and Cooper “S”. Their success at Monte Carlo Rally helped BMC to make the brand even more popular around the world.