As the UK celebrates news that MINI will build their fully
electric model in Cowley, we are considering a party of our own
after reaching a manufacturing milestone of four million speaker
While both achievements are very different in terms of magnitude
and social impact, there is something romantic about the
coincidental timing of both events, with the two companies having
shared moments in their two very different
Created by Sir Alec Issigonis in 1959, the very first Mini
models were released as the Morris Mini Minor and Austin Seven. It
wasn't until 1961 that it was renamed Austin Mini, and eight years
after that Mini became a marque in its own right.
Designed with its transverse-engine, front-wheel drive and
incredibly compact dimensions, the Mini revolutionised the small
car, and it soon became the best-selling British car in history
with a production run of 5.3 million units.
During its lifespan, the original Mini was produced at various
factories, before being acquired in 1994 following BMW's purchase
of The Rover Group, with development on the all-new MINI starting
Throughout the 21st century, MINI has managed to
maintain its classic image, while developing new models and
concepts to stay competitive in the ever-expanding automotive
industry, with a current line-up of some five variants.
While Mini was busy establishing itself as Britain's most iconic
car, Borough Plating was producing the components and parts used to
manufacture the industry's most loved vehicles.
in 1947 as Borough Polishing & Plating, we committed
ourselves to the innovation, design and creation of stylish
components that would reflect the revolutionary engineering of
renowned manufacturers like MINI.
In the 1960's, our MD, David Coombes pioneered the switch from
plating metal to plating plastics - a practice that was soon
recognised by the booming automotive industry for its consistently
high-quality finish at an equally attractive price.
Starting with radio and television control knobs, our plating
quality was attracting work away from vacuum-deposited chrome,
which had nowhere near the durability of electroplated chrome.
At that time, Mini was one of the best-selling cars around and
they were beginning to use a lot of chrome-plated components. We
began supplying chrome-plated plastic lamp surrounds for them which
was a huge boost for our business, and the start of a very long
relationship with the automotive sector.
As the inside style of cars became more important, we found
ourselves approached by numerous high-profile automotive companies
asking for chromed interior components.
Like Mini, we were slowly building a reputation as an innovative
British manufacturing company that had a passion for creating the
highest quality of products possible.
Our company continued to grow throughout the remainder of the
20th century, and with it so too did our offering. In
1985 Borough set up its own injection moulding workshop,
allowing us to meet the 'mould & plate' demand of major
By 1999 we had installed and commissioned a fully automated
plating plant to meet the growing demand for our services; a total
investment of more than £2million.
Our expansion proved to be a great success, now boasting a team
of more than 80 dedicated professionals we continue to deliver some
of the highest quality moulded and plated parts available to the
automotive industry, working with some of the most recognised and
celebrated marques in the world.
Creating the four millionth speaker cover is a fantastic
manufacturing achievement for the company, make no mistakes about
However, I believe it's the sentimental value of the milestone
that makes this so special, as it reminds us of our journey from
humble beginnings to working with some of the biggest names in
As MINI begin manufacturing their new electric model, we will
start working towards the production of our five millionth speaker
cover - creating more history as two British-born automotive