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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

๏ The End Of Production ๏

By 2000 Rover was still suffering massive losses, and BMW decided to dispose of most of the company: MG and Rover went to Phoenix, a new British consortium; and Land Rover went to Ford. BMW retained the Mini name and the planned new model, granting Rover temporary rights to the brand and allowing it to manufacture and sell the run-out model of the old Mini. By April 2000, the range consisted of four versions: the Mini Classic Se7en, the Mini Classic Cooper, the Mini Classic Cooper Sport and for overseas European markets, the Mini Knightsbridge. The last Mini (a red Cooper Sport) was built on October 4 2000 and presented to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in December 2000. A total of 5,387,862 cars had been manufactured.
After the last of the Mini production had been sold, the 'Mini' name reverted to BMW. The new 'BMW' MINI is technically unrelated to the old car but retains the classic transverse 4 cylinder, front-wheel-drive configuration and many stylistic elements.
The Mini was a cultural icon and shows up in movies such as The Bourne Identity (2002) as a beat-up but surprisingly capable vehicle for a car chase, or as in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) as a collectible fashion icon garaged alongside other classic sports cars. (See also: List of movies in which Mini cars are featured.)

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