Prince Charles met staff at Mini’s Oxford plant yesterday (Jun 8) to celebrate 20 years of the car’s modern production.
It has now been two decades since the release of the first BMW Minis in 2001 and the Prince of Wales was on hand to join in the celebrations.
He was given a tour around the Mini Plant Oxford, where he met with the people behind the cars and was introduced to some of the 130 apprentices working at the site.
The heir to the throne also met more senior staff who were closely involved in integrating the manufacturing of the Mini Electric on to the standard production line.
The move made Oxford the first BMW Group plant in the world to build fully electric and combustion cars on the same line.
The Mini Electric was launched internationally last year and production will double in 2021.
Prince Charles, a famous champion of EVs and eco-causes in general, drove a Mini Electric off the production line as part of his visit.
He was also introduced to members of the team whose families have worked at the plant over a number of generations, across the decades.
Peter Weber, managing director of Mini Plant Oxford, said: ‘It was an absolute honour and pleasure to welcome the Prince of Wales to the heart of the Mini brand here in Oxford, and we were delighted that he could join us to mark this important manufacturing milestone.
‘Over the past 20 years, the commitment and passion of our associates, nearly a quarter of whom were with us when the first car rolled off the line in 2001, has helped to strengthen Mini’s reputation around the world.
‘It is fantastic for this special celebration to have been recognised with such a memorable royal visit.
‘It was a real highlight to see His Royal Highness drive one of our Mini Electrics off the production line today.’
The Oxfordshire-based factory currently employs more than 3,700 people and builds 1,000 cars every day.
It is hoped the Mini will be the first BMW brand to go fully electric by the early 2030s.