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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We booked this tour about a month ago via the Mini website and had confirmation the following day.
We arrived at the Oxford plant today (15th August) ready for the 12.30 tour.

There is a Mini shop there and a visitor’s reception along with a huge car park.

They do inform you that there is no food available but you can get a drink from a vending machine (or water from a dispenser). There are also spotless toilets. You can leave belongings in lockers as they don’t allow mobile phones or cameras on the tour.
There is a vehicle display hall to look around either before or after your tour.

The tour guides are a really nice friendly bunch and make you feel really welcome.
Just before you head off on the tour, you are given a coat to wear along with safety glasses (for the body shop only) and an earpiece – the guide has a microphone to talk to you.
So off we went in a group of about 10 people out to the minibus for a short trip to the bodyshop.

This was fascinating, 1,000 robots all assembling and welding the body panels staffed by about 30 people per shift. The sub assemblies are transported on an overhead track on the floor above and dropped down by elevators to the appropriate welding cell below, then on completion up they go and onto the next stage in another cell.
You gradually see the car body getting more recognizable and the parts are added.
On one cell, the body floor pan arrived from the upper floor ready for the sides to be fitted. We observed a couple of 3 door bodies being fitted with side panels, before a robot changed the pick-up tooling ready for the next body which was a 5 door variant –impressive!
After a walk around this impressive plant with a commentary all the way, we boarded the minibus again to drive a short way to the main assembly plant.

Again this was great; we saw robots and little automated trucks moving parts around, such as dash assemblies, to their assembly destinations. Assembly staff were fitting out the cars at all stages, from where the painted body arrives into the building right up to the point where the car is started for the first time and driven off.
All parts are specific to the vehicle as it proceeds down the line, wiring loom, electrics, sunroof, seats and wheels etc. all arriving at just the right time for assembly to the car.
One highlight for me was the people who rushed off with another guide all of a sudden – they had found out that their vehicle was in the final assembly at that moment! Indeed they managed to find it nearby just before the wheels were fitted – they were well happy, and such an experience for them, the delight on their faces was plain to see! (If you have your new vehicles VIN number they can track it down for you).

All in all a great tour and highly recommended;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just to add, saw lots of whites, silver whites, moonwalk grey, blacks, quite a few blazing reds, couple of BRG's and Thunder Greys but hardly any Volcanic Oranges!
Oh and the 5 door in Electric Blue looks nice!
 

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We went last Monday and found it fascinating! Thought we had timed it well with our mini but in fact it had left the factory the Thursday before! It would have been amazing!
 

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When today? Who sold you yours? I'm picking up at 2pm. Couldn't get up that early as my stag do is the Friday to Saturday before haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When today? Who sold you yours? I'm picking up at 2pm. Couldn't get up that early as my stag do is the Friday to Saturday before haha
Nah, Monday Sept 1st.
Tom took my order, got a few pics today and a video, I can't wait!
Check out my new post "its at the dealers"
 
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