Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This is Where Your Classic Mini was Built

The Austin Longbridge Site - Google Earth
The screen capture included in this post is of the Austin assembly site in Longbridge, Birmingham. In addition to the original Mini, Austin (and the later successors BMC, BMH, Leyland, etc. ) manufactured various saloon cars, trucks and a number of models exported to the US such as the Nash Metropolitan.

The site was sold off to a real estate developer early in the last decade by MG-Rover who then leased back a portion to continue production of both Rovers and MGs until the under financed firm went into receivership.Prior to BMW's divestiture of Rover and MG, the modern MINI was scheduled to be built there, but instead went to the old Morris Cowley plant in Oxfordshire

You can see a number of brownfield areas in the photograph; these were once covered by production buildings that were removed by the developers to make way for new buildings, some of which include shopping malls, housing and a college campus. 

For an in-depth look at the Austin site and a history of the Austin marque, you cannot do better than to visit the excellent Austin Memories site run by John Baker. It is indeed a labor of love and I promise that you will spend a great deal of time browsing it.   

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