Meanwhile, I decided to have a bit of fun with Google Earth and have a look at the MINI factory in Cowley, Oxfordshire, UK. It's just southeast of Oxford proper, and as you can see it's a pretty large facility.
Unfortunately, the satellite detail is missing from part of the image, but you can still make out most of the site. On the upper left is the employee parking lot. The factory employs 4,000 local workers, and if you zoom in you can see that a very large percentage apparently drive MINIs themselves.
South of the parking lots are the main factory buildings. The square building to the far east appears to be the transport terminal, where Europe-bound MINIs are loaded on trucks, and the remainder are placed on trains for the journey to Southampton port.
Somewhere on this site, within viewing distance of the dreaming spires of Oxford, my car's genetic code sits in a computer, waiting to be turned into a bouncing baby MINI.