It’s interesting to see how your car is built. Your car. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve always liked buying MINI: you can configure your car online, print out your specifications, bring it to the dealer, and say “order this.” I’ve never really had an interest in buying a MINI off the lot – maybe if it met my exact specifications – but configuring a car to your taste is part of the fun. Another part of the fun is tracking its production status.

The other day my Motoring Advisor ((The MINI equivalent of a salesperson, since they’re more there to help guide you with your decisions.)) called to let me know my car was in production. It took another day or two, but now the online site has caught up with the current production status:

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You can also use your production order number (what you’re given when the dealership places the order with the factory) or the last seven characters of your vehicle’s VIN (which you get once the car’s scheduled for production) and call 866-ASK-MINI for details on its current status, which was what I had to do while I waited for the online status to update.

A few years ago I had the opportunity on vacation in England to visit the MINI factory in Oxford. Before that tour I always thought of factory tours as being ushered along catwalks above the action, but here you were walking right alongside the people and robots doing the work.