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Saturday, 7 July, 2001, 03:18 GMT 04:18 UK
New Mini on sale
New mini
BMW is producing the new minis in Oxford
As the new Mini goes on sale, BMW is hoping the great British motoring icon of the 1960s will prove to be a hit in the 21st century.

Two brand new versions of the car are being built at the BMW factory at Cowley in Oxfordshire - a standard Mini and a more sporty Mini Cooper model.

Both have 1.6 litre engines. The basic Mini costs 10,300, while the Cooper is 11,600.

The 1959 original version had a price tag of just 496.

BMW, which has invested 230m in new facilities at Cowley, has already taken about 3,000 advance orders for the new car from enthusiasts.


We are exceptionally proud of the Mini's heritage but we are not on a nostalgia trip

Trevor Houghton-Berry Mini's UK general manager
The car has proved a hit with reviewers who have admired its luxury feel and quirky looks.

BMW is hoping to produce 30,000 Minis this year and 100,000 in 2002.

Following its UK launch, the car will go on sale in Europe in September and in America and Japan next year.

The success of the car is crucial to BMW.

It was the one part of the company salvaged from the ruins of its ownership of Rover which cost the German car maker 2.7bn.

The two new cars are expected to be joined by a convertible and a pick up version in coming years.

Mini's UK general manager Trevor Houghton-Berry said: "We are exceptionally proud of the Mini's heritage but we are not on a nostalgia trip.

"This new car must be judged on its own merits. It will have to earn its own heritage status."

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See also:

22 May 01 | Business
Picture Gallery: The new Mini
22 May 01 | Business
A new life for the Mini
28 Sep 00 | Business
The Mini finally grows
06 Jul 01 | Business
New Mini goes on sale
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