Side by side, collage of our five interviewees who are a part of the MINI team at Plant Oxford. Side by side, collage of our five interviewees who are a part of the MINI team at Plant Oxford.


The making of the new MINI Cooper,
back where it all began. 

Overhead factory lighting glints off the new MINI Cooper in Ocean Wave Green as it comes down the Plant Oxford production line.
Headshot of MINI ambassador Charlie Cooper during his visit to Plant Oxford.

There’s something about welcoming the new MINI Cooper in the home of MINI that feels right. Practically buzzing, the team at Plant Oxford is raising the fifth generation of go-kart fun while simultaneously gearing up for the upcoming production of two new all-electric models.

Always ready to celebrate MINI moments of BIG LOVE, we were on site for the unveiling of the new MINI Cooper, cheering from the sidelines as the first car was driven off the line by none other than Charlie Cooper – MINI ambassador and grandson of Mini Cooper namesake, John Cooper.

But before Charlie took the new MINI Cooper for its inaugural spin, we met some of the inspirational people who made this moment — a moment 64 years in the making — possible. People whose skill, dedication, and unwavering passion are all key ingredients for the successful launch at Plant Oxford. 


Our first port of call would be training manager Wayne Wickens. Since his first day 24 years ago, Wayne has tried on various roles until stepping into the one that makes him happiest. A combination of Wayne’s easy way with people and pride in being a part of the team that has successfully brought this MINI to its launch.

Wayne shows us around the ‘Body in White’ facility, where the body pressings and sub-assemblies arriving from Swindon must become a body shell before meeting the petrol engines made at Hams Hall in Warwickshire. Entrusted with this job are 1,200 robots, which have increased from just 229 robots in 1996 to the monumental taskforce they are now.

Half-body headshot of MINI training manager Wayne Wickens, who poses with arms crossed in front of factory machinery.
Side profile photo of MINI process engineer Dominika Pietrynko, with Plant Oxford’s paint shop as the backdrop.


It’s a known fact – the colour of someone’s MINI is a real expression of their individual style. That’s why there are 10 different colour choices across the new MINI Family models.

Tasked with optimising the paint shop robots, Dominika (Domi) Pietrynko ensures everything is ready for the body shells coming from Body in White. And while Domi loves the new MINI Cooper interior and round OLED, it’s the colour palette she loves most. In fact, after finishing her apprenticeship degree, Domi took the opportunity to join the team that introduced the all-new Ocean Wave Green. 


The body is built. The paint is on. Now, it’s time for Humiayan Shaukat and the Plant Oxford assembly team to do their well-oiled thing. In a record 5 hours, the team will fully put together the new MINI Cooper, including the cockpit, front end, electrical wiring, engine, wheels, door, AND selected trim. It’s nothing short of a MINI miracle!

Process leader Humiayan doesn’t stop at building MINI cars, though. He drives one, too. Currently the owner of a MINI John Cooper Works, Humiayan has his eye on the fresh design and updated tech of the new MINI Cooper. 

Headshot of process leader for the door line Humiayan Shaukat, with a blurry view of the assembly line in the background.
Side profile shot of Quality Control specialist Lianne Veasey.


Assembled and just about ready to hit the road, the new MINI Cooper must now pass a detailed bonnet-to-boot inspection to make sure it stacks up to the standards we’ve been setting since 1959. That includes a trip through the ‘Climate Chamber’, where conditions range from -40 to a sweltering 90 degrees Celsius!

Overseeing the process is Quality Control specialist Lianne Veasey. A long-time MINI fan, Lianne talks fondly of the red Classic Mini she once shared with her twin sister. Fast forward to now, and Lianne has been an integral part of the department that maintains the sky-high standards of MINI for a full decade.


Quality Control’s final tick secured; we are back at the moment everyone was eagerly awaiting. The new MINI Cooper was ready to take its place in Plant Oxford’s 111 years of motoring history, Charlie Cooper at the wheel.

Like Charlie, someone whose history with MINI goes way back is MINI tour guide Donna. One of the lucky few to see the unreleased MINI Cooper (camouflage paint and all!), Donna has always had a special connection to the plant:

‘Three generations of my family have worked at Plant Oxford. My grandfather started in 1927, my dad started in 1947 and I started in 1978. I always feel that sense of connection to my history and the plant’s history. And then there's this new product as well, which has a longer history in fact.’

And with that, we finally welcome the new MINI Cooper to the family. Donna was right – it’s been a long time coming. 

Half-body headshot of MINI tour guide Donna Roper, with a blurry view of the interior of Plant Oxford in the background.