Home Of MINI Welcomes Olympic Torch Relay
MINI, official partner of Team GB and ParalympicsGB, welcomed the Olympic Torch Relay to its UK production plant in Oxford today. The Olympic Torch Relay convoy passed through the Oxford production site at 5.17pm cheered on by over 4000 spectators, marking a proud moment in the history of the manufacturing plant, which will celebrate its 100 year anniversary next year.
Dr Juergen Hedrich, Managing Director of MINI Plant Oxford, said: “We are extremely proud to welcome the Olympic Flame to the heart of MINI production in Oxford. The Olympic Torch Relay is bringing the spirit of the London 2012 Olympic Games to the furthest corners of the country and we are delighted to share the excitement that this tremendous occasion has brought with all of our associates.”
MINI plant associates, their families and children from local primary schools gathered for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and celebrate the Olympic Flame in Oxford. Double Olympic gold medallist Daley Thompson also joined the celebrations and the flame’s arrival at the plant even halted production for two hours in order for all associates to cheer it on its journey.
Now exporting to more than 100 countries around the world and employing over 5500 associates across its production triangle including its pressings plant in Swindon and its engine plant at Hams Hall near Birmingham, MINI is the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in the UK, accounting for 18 per cent of national automotive production. In June 2011 BMW Group announced a further £500 million investment into its UK operations and earlier today unveiled plans to spend a further £250 million on the MINI triangle plants as the company prepares for the third generation MINI and plans for considerable expansion of the brand. Prime Minister, David Cameron joined the celebrations in August last year as the two millionth car rolled off the production line since the start of manufacture in 2001.
MINI is playing a key supporting role throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games including within the official London 2012 Games fleet. 200 MINIs, including 40 MINI E vehicles will form part of the official London 2012 fleet providing crucial transport and operational support to keep the Games moving. Such vehicles are also included in the Olympic Torch Relay convoy which today was led by a MINI E as the official command vehicle on its journey through the plant. MINI has equally partnered with a number of other sponsors including Coca-Cola, providing the ‘MINI Beats’ fleet to entertain the crowd today before the arrival of the torch and the British Olympic Association. MINI is also sponsoring over 150 athletes on their journey to the Games as part of their Performance Team.