Did the Oxford factory tour on Monday morning.
Few facts and updates for you all ............
Firstly, its a must for any Mini enthusiast, the technology, process and checks which go into making the cars as brilliant as they can be are mind boggling.
The tour is £15 a person and last 2 hours.
There is NO factory shutdown in July and August, there is however, a shut down in late September which is fantastic news for those of us waiting for a September 1st - 64 reg Mini.
The shutdown is to install the robots and technology for the F54 Mini Clubman, which we had full access to view and the tour guide openly spoke about.
Mostly F56 Mini's being built but some F55 4 door Mini's also being built for us to view, touch and feel. Its quite a bit bigger that the hatch in the flesh. Also saw some old design Cabriolets and Roadsters being built
Mistakes are rarely made at the factory regarding spec, it mainly down to the dealer guy who manually inputs the order onto the BMW system when you have signed on the dotted line.
We did however, see Mini's being pulled off the production line and being worked on separately, this was for any issues during build which needed rectifying or if the guy or gal who was fitting a particularly complicated piece of kit on a Mini runs out of time. This ensures that the production line does not have to stop.
My favourite bit of the tour?
Watching 4 guys fit the wiring looms into each car, I was told the wiring loom is unique to each car so does not have any spare terminals. Apparently it is for weight saving measures.
The Cooper wiring loom weighs approx 8kg and the Cooper S approx 12kg, the more options you spec the heavier .......
Amazing to watch.
This information may be bad news for you guys wanting to fit aftermarket kit?
I think thats about it, loved the tour, the experience and seeing Mini's being born.
There was a party of 15 Americans from Texas in the group before mine, apparently they come across every year for the tour, dedication!
Oh nearly forgot one other fact .......
The engines are not bench tested when they are made, the first time they are started is at the end of production line when the drivers take them out for an hour test drive round the purpose built circuit.