The Mini is a small economy car produced by the English-based British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered an icon of 1960s British popular culture. Its space-saving transverse engine front-wheel drive layout – allowing 80 percent of the area of the car’s floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage – influenced a generation of car makers. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T, and ahead of the Citroën DS and Volkswagen Beetle.
This distinctive two-door car was designed for BMC by Sir Alec Issigonis. It was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in England, the Victoria Park/Zetland British Motor Corporation (Australia) factory in Sydney, Australia, and later also in Spain (Authi), Belgium, Chile, Italy (Innocenti), Malta, Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. The Mini Mark I had three major UK updates – the Mark II, the Clubman and the Mark III. Within these was a series of variations, including an estate car, a pick-up truck, a van and the Mini Moke, a jeep-like buggy.
The performance versions, the Mini Cooper and Cooper “S”, were successful as both race and rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. In 1966, the first-placed Mini (along with nine other cars) was disqualified after the finish, under a controversial decision that the car’s headlights were against the rules.
On its introduction in August 1959 the Mini was marketed under the Austin and Morris names, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor. The Austin Seven was renamed Austin Mini in January 1962 and Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969. In 1980 it once again became the Austin Mini and in 1988 the Rover Mini.
Mini (stylised as MINI) is a British automotive marque, owned by BMW since 2000, and used by them for a range of small cars. The word Mini has been used in car model names since 1959, and in 1969 it became a marque in its own right when the name “Mini” replaced the separate “Austin Mini” and “Morris Mini” car model names. BMW acquired the marque in 1994 when it bought Rover Group (formerly British Leyland), which owned Mini, among other brands.
The original Mini was a line of iconic British small cars manufactured by the British Motor Corporation, and its successors. Their models included the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven, the Countryman, Moke, 1275GT and Clubman. Performance versions of these models used the name Cooper, due to a partnership with racing legend John Cooper. The original two-door Mini continued in production until 2000. Development of a successor began in 1995 and the new generation car was launched in 2001. The current Mini range includes the Hardtop/Hatch/Convertible (three-door hatchback), Clubman (estate), Countryman (five-door crossover), Coupe/Roadster and Paceman (three-door crossover based on the Countryman).
The Mini was originally a product of the British Motor Corporation, which in 1966 became part of British Motor Holdings. British Motor Holdings merged with Leyland Motors in 1968 to form British Leyland. In the 1980s, British Leyland was broken-up and in 1988 Rover Group, including Mini, was acquired by British Aerospace. In 1994, Rover Group was acquired by BMW. In 2000, Rover Group was broken up by BMW, with BMW retaining the Mini brand.
The Mini Hatch/Hardtop, Clubman, Coupe and Roadster are assembled at BMW’s Plant Oxford in Cowley, England. The Mini Convertible and Countryman are assembled at VDL Nedcar in Born (Netherlands), the Mini Hatch/Hardtop is also assembled here besides the Oxford plant. The Paceman was till 2016 assembled by Magna Steyr in Austria. A total of 301,526 Mini vehicles were sold worldwide in 2012. Mini vehicles have been active in rallying and the Mini Cooper S won the Monte Carlo Rally on three occasions, in 1964, 1965 and 1967. Mini has participated in the World Rally Championship since 2011 through the Prodrive WRC Team.
In April 2013, Peter Schwarzenbauer became new Mini marque’s managing director, succeeding Jochen Goller