The Web for Automotive Professionals & Car Enthusiasts


MINI History

MINI History


MINI Sidewalk

New MINI 2006

MINI Convertible

MINI Cooper S


MINI Introduction 2001

MINI Concepts

MINI Concept Frankfurt

MINI Concept Detroit

MINI Concept Tokyo


MINI Plant in Oxford, UK

The new MINI is being manufactured on one of the world's most modern and advanced production systems at the BMW Group plant at Oxford - the result of a £230 million investment programme at the factory.

BMW's new Oxford Plant

MINI Stars in  "The Italian Job"

MINI in "The Italian Job"

MINI, the 2003 North American Car of the Year, will join a stellar cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Mos Def and Donald Sutherland, in Paramount Pictures’ film, “The Italian Job,” opening nationwide May 30th.


Privacy Statement

© 1998 - 2007 Copyright &

Automotive Intelligence,
All Rights Reserved .
For questions please contact 

BMW Cars     MINI Cars     Rolls Royce Motor Cars 

Plant Summary  Facts   Assembly  Paint Shop   Body Shop   Logistics 
Quality & Engineering Center

BMW Oxford Plant : Assembly

FINAL ASSEMBLY: The painted bodies are received in a sequencing store above the final assembly lines where the first stage is to remove the doors which then pass along their own sub-assembly line at mezzanine floor height to be trimmed.

BMW Oxford Plant Assembly BMW Oxford Plant Assembly
Click image for larger view


BMW Oxford Plant Assembly
Click image for larger view

The body itself is lowered to the main hall and onto individual wooden skillets which form the moving assembly line and stay with the car until the wheels are fitted towards the end of the production process.

The skillets provide a wide working area around the car and associates move with the car during assembly operations.

The car's barcode is read by the KISS quality and information system at every assembly stage, eliminating the need for the traditional vehicle history card and providing a direct electronic link with the production control system. Each car is also fitted with a transponder which ensures immediate identification and tracking at any assembly station.

The introduction of "all electric" power tools - rather than conventional compressed air tools - is a first for vehicle assembly in Europe. The tools, which are either powered by direct current or are portable, battery-powered, are far more accurate in applying the correct level of torque in a variety of assembly tasks.

BMW Oxford Plant Assembly
Click image for larger view

"Wedding" of body and powertrain

A further benefit is that they are also linked into the KISS system which monitors their performance through a controller station provided at each of the tools. This allows a continuously updated history of the assembly of each car and maintains the stringent quality standards at each assembly stage as part of the "zero-fault" quality programme.

Throughout the assembly process special attention is paid to the ease of handling parts, with the use of assistors in tasks such as sunroof, exhaust system and battery installation.



BMW Oxford Plant Assembly
Click image for larger view

The height of the car on the assembly line alters to provide optimum working conditions for associates and for one assembly sequence the car is rotated through 90 degrees on a swivel mounting at waist height to give easy access to the underside.

Glass fixing is carried out in an advanced and fully automated glazing cell in a three stage process for side windows and front and rear screens.

A major feature of the interior is the highly individual cockpit/facia design. This complex component - comprising the complete facia with steering wheel, steering column, instruments and controls, heater and wiring harness - is assembled as a single unit into the car. The cockpit arrives from the supplier, Magna, directly to the appropriate point on the assembly line without any manual handling between despatch from the factory at Redditch and fitment. The supplier is given six hours notice of the required cockpit specification and delivers to the trackside on a Just in Time basis.

Powertrain assembly

BMW Oxford Plant Assembly
Click image for larger view

A major sub-assembly area is given over to powertrain assembly, where engines are "dressed" according to specification and clutch, gearbox, front and rear suspension assembly takes place on four lines. The completed powertrain unit is automatically assembled into the car.

Another innovation is an automated tyre sequence check, based on an optical system, which reads the inscription on tyres to ensure that the correct tyres in the correct sequence are fed onto the conveyor for each car.

BMW Oxford Plant Assembly
Click image for larger view

The final assembly process also includes complete test procedures with electrical systems testing; water test and parts quality control as well as the final finish line with a "buy-off" point where the completed car passes from the manufacturing activity to the sales organisation.

(July 10, 2001)

 photos: BMW/ Automotive Intelligence
















.Homepage   News   Companies   Management   Events Careers  Guestbook   Search