,hl=en,siteUrl='http://0ldfox.blogspot.com/',authuser=0,security_token="v_SeT2Tv8vVdKRCcG9CCW-ZdIfQ:1429878696275"/> Old Fox KM Journal

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

opinion.telegraph.co.uk - The Mini's success shows we don't need the euro
The Mini is not just sexy, it is lucky. The car transporter sunk in the Channel, which keeps being banged into - rather amusingly - by Turkish-registered vessels, was on its way to pick up a consignment of Minis destined for Detroit. If they were now at the bottom of the sea, the Mini would probably not have won its prize in absentia.

In Oxford, where the car is built by BMW, the factory has moved to three shifts a day. The production line is closed only once a week for maintenance. Another 700 workers have been hired in addition to the 4,000 existing staff.

Last week, the factory took a record 850 orders in the UK alone and it expects to build 150,000 this year - half as many again as first planned when production started in July 2001.

If Edmund Burke were still alive and a car designer rather than a Tory philosopher, I like to think he would approve of the Mini. Its modern curves and happy bonnet are a natural evolution from the original. It was designed by a cigar-smoking American in Munich called Frank Stephenson, with help from a team from Oxford.

Maybe this is another example of how a foreigner is more appreciative of something classically British than we are at home. Its appeal is a rebuke to all those who believe you should go for a radical, revolutionary revamp in car design, or indeed so many other things in life.

No comments: