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The British car brand Mini emerged from a cooperation between British Motor Company and Austin Motor Company, which had been coalesced in 1952. The Mini had its first appearance, when the car left the factory in Birmingham in 1959.
The design of the Mini laid the foundation for the construction of all small cars.
Alec Issigonis had designed the car in such way that, despite its small size it could show “greatness”. Thanks to the front-wheel drive and the cross-section of a four-cylinder engine space in the interior was won. This was new and proved itself.Since its beginnings and up to the end of its production in 2000, it was hardly necessary to revise the model visually and technically.
With a length of about three meters, the car was not only small, but also economical. The Mini was the most successful and best-selling car from Great Britain after all, with a total circulation of 5.4 million copies.
The production for the European mainland started already in the first year 1959 in the Dutch Amersfoort. Soon, the models were enlarged and thus the whole model range. In 1960, the Mini-van was introduced. The team John Cooper and Alec Issigonis developed the Mini Cooper in 1961 - initially in a small edition of 1000 pieces. For ten years, the model with improved engine power and extended displacement was with good sales on the market. In Germany, however, it was sold later, starting in 1974. In 1990, the Mini Cooper was reissued.
The Mini Moke from the year 1964 was designed as a small off-road vehicle for the military. After all, as a civilian beach and fun car, it found numerous lovers and was regarded as a serious competitor for the VW Buggy.
In the seventies, Mini had to face financial difficulties, which could be averted by nationalisation. In the eighties the company was re-privatised again with the takeover of the British Aerospace.
As early as 1964, Mini celebrated its first overall win at the Monte Carlo Rally. The brand gained significant victories during numerous speed hill climbing and touring car championships and continues to participate in these competitions. The Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda also had its first successes with the British brand car.
With the Final Edition and the special model Knightsbridge the classic mini was dismissed in the year 2000. In 2001, BMW took over the brand. Prior to this, BMW, which had been in the possession of trademark rights since 1997, had established the new start of the Minis in the Monte Carlo study.
The models now are visually strongly oriented on the cult car, but overall the cars were supposed to be longer. The engine has been technically modified and the interior has been modernised. Initially the new Mini, Mini Cooper, Cooper S and Mini Cabrio was built with engines from Toyota and the PSA Group. Soon afterwards, the new editions were produced entirely under the auspices of BMW and slipped a price class higher.
The redefinition of the brand doesn’t break with its former success. As a symbol of British pop culture, the new Mini has remained faithful to its young appearance and thus to its target group. The product range currently includes six models: The Mini 3-Door, Mini 5-Door, Mini Cabrio, Mini Clubman, Mini Countryman and John Cooper Works.
John Cooper Works (JKW), the Clubman and the Countryman, are one of the models with generous dimensions and more storage space. The current sporty special model, the John Cooper Works, is another result of the fusion between the BMW Group and JCW, the British specialist for tuning parts and accessories in 2007.