For centuries, Oxford has enjoyed international appeal as having one of the world's best known and highly regarded universities, and draws thousands of visitors from around the globe every year.

But many people don't know that Oxford also has a technical and industrial history: 100 years ago - in 1913 - a young cycling enthusiast, William Morris, made a decision to establish a car plant in the Cowley area of Oxford.

The first car to be produced there was a two-seater Morris Oxford in 1913, assembled on a stationary production line which became known as the "Bullnose Morris".

In the 1950s, Morris' Oxford factories produced a wide variety of models as post-war demand for cars rapidly grew around the world. However, the model that was to make the biggest impact on the British motor industry was the classic Mini.

The first classic Mini rolled off the Oxford production line on 8 May 1959. Between 1959 and 1968, 602,817 Minis were manufactured at Oxford, with a peak output of 94,889 cars during 1966/67.

BMW Group comes to Oxford

In 1994 BMW acquired Plant Oxford as part of its purchase of the Rover Group and announced further investment of £280 million to provide a new, state-of-the-art paintshop, a high-technology body building facility, a new final assembly area, a new logistics centre and a new vehicle preparation centre, now transformed into the Quality and Engineering Centre.

This investment updated the production areas of the plant and laid the foundations for modern and advanced manufacturing techniques, which have now been built upon for the introduction of the new MINI.

A MINI adventure

The manufacturing launch of MINI in April 2001 marked the start of a remarkable new phase in the history of the plant. The very latest car production facilities were introduced in a £230 million investment programme for the new car range. Since 2000, around £1.75 billion has been invested in BMW Group's manufacturing sites in the UK.

In 2013, the MINI Plant celebrated 100 years of car-making in Oxford and in November that year welcomed the first of a new generation of MINI to the factory.

Today, Plant Oxford produces five MINI models - Hatch, Convertible, Coupé, Roadster and 5-door Hatch.