New MINI starts rolling off the line

UUPDATE 1 - Second photo added after the jump

The new MINI Cooper is in production, and Motoring File links to a Dutch MINI forum post that has the pics to prove it. The train photographed is carrying 360 of the little critters, according to the poster who snapped the pics, and from the sound of things, trainloads of MINIs should be a pretty common occurrence.

In a speech given Wednesday at MINI's Oxford manufacturing facility, BMW Chairman Dr. Norbert Reithofer spoke about the MINI Production Triangle, which consists of the plants at Hams Hall, Oxford and Swindon. After giving a brief rundown on the roles of the three facilities, Reithofer got down to the nitty-gritty, explaining that MINI production capacity has been increased up to 20% thanks to investment in the triangle, the adoption of new shift models, and the planned hiring of 450 additional workers On top of that, several suppliers have relocated to be closer to the Oxford plant.

The outgoing MINI accounted for 1 in 7 BMW deliveries. Looks like Bimmer is expecting the new one to do just as well or surpass the old car's mark.

Update: As some commenters have pointed out, the train is indeed carrying a mix of MINIs old and new. A shot of an '07 Cooper S onboard has been added after the jump.

[Sources: Motoring File,]
2007 Mini Cooper S

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