Happy birthday to the Mini! Sixty years ago today (August 26, 1959), the British Motor Corporation first showed its new compact car. Announced under two brands, as the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven, the identical four-seaters designed by Alec Issigonis began a dynasty that continues to this day.
The classic Mini went out of production in the year 2000, with 5,387,862 units produced, making it the world’s most successful compact car. After a break of not quite a year, a new chapter in the history of the brand opened up in 2001, carrying forward the ideas of by-then knighted Sir Alec Issigonis into the 21st century.
The new generation Mini Hatch/Hardtop went on sale in July 2001 and was an immediate sales success, with an all-new second generation of the Hardtop/Hatch model launched on November 18, 2006. Mini seems to be extraordinarily good at getting its milestone birthdays lined up, as November 18, 2006 was the 100th birthday of Sir Alec Issigonis.
Celebrations are in full swing around the world at present, with another milestone conveniently coinciding with the 60th birthday of the brand as the 10 millionth Mini was produced a few weeks ago on July 24, 2019.