Landmark Pepper White Mini is headed for BMW's heritage fleet
4 April 2007

We've been wondering how popular BMW's second-generation Mini is proving, and today, Mini has provided an answer, while at the same time passing a milestone in the history of the new car. If you were expecting the upmarket supermini's incredible following to wane, think again; last month was the busiest for the brand since the introduction of the new Mini in July 2001; it sold 7854 new cars during March's '07-plate rush – almost 200 more than this time last year.It also churned out a pepper white Cooper S hatchback (pictured), the millionth car produced at BMW's Cowley factory since the launch of the new Mini six years ago. Back then, Plant Oxford (as it's now known) was producing 300 cars a day, with a workforce of 2400; today, it turns out 700 Minis a day, with 4700 workers on round-the-clock shifts. It should therefore be a bumper year for the Mini brand, with its Mini One and Mini Cooper D hatchback models arriving on sale on April 14, and the new Mini Clubman estate on sale before the end of the year. By then, Mini could be making 240,000 cars a year, and be a closer match on overall output for Toyota's manufacturing plant in Burnaston (home to the Auris and Avensis) and Nissan's Sunderland plant (where the Micra, Note and Qashqai are made). It has already overtaken Honda's Swindon factory (where 189,000 Civics and CR-Vs were made last year), although the Japanese company has plans to expand its UK outfit.

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