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Former BMW worker jailed for defrauding company of £6 million

He turned to crime to fund a lavish lifestyle. Tonight, though, he is behind bars. Accountant Johannes Franken siphoned off almost six million pounds from his employers - BMW Mini at Cowley, in Oxfordshire. He used it to buy luxury cars and a diving school in Mauritius. Divya Kohli reports on how an employee took his car maker bosses for a ride.

Three million Minis for BMW

A landmark for Mini Credit: ITV Meridian

Mini has announced the production of its three millionth car since 2001, and its two millionth international export.

The three millionth MINI to be produced is a 5-door Hatch Cooper S and has a special exterior design to celebrate its heritage and its British roots.

A £750 million investment is underway across three of BMW Group's UK manufacturing facilities.

Highlights include a new 1,000-robot bodyshop at Plant Oxford and the installation of new body manufacturing technologies including laser welding at Plant Swindon.



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Old, rusty Mini to fetch £10,000 at auction

The 1959 Morris Mini Minor Saloon Credit: Bonhams

It's been locked away in a barn in Oxfordshire for 40 years - but this car is expected to fetch around £10,000 at auction. The 1959 Morris Mini Minor Saloon has just 47,0000 miles on the clock - but it will need some attention when it's auctioned next month.

The rusty dishevelled car is expected to attract plenty of attention as it's the 15th oldest Mini in the world. It will go to auction in Oxford on March 2.

The Mini has been locked away in a barn in Bicester for 40 years Credit: Bonhams

Union reacts to Mini investment

Unite has hailed BMW Group's decision to invest £250m into its UK plants in Oxford, and Swindon as a "ray of sunshine".

The company announced the cash boost during a visit by Business Secretary Vince Cable this morning.

Tony Burke, Unite assistant general secretary, said: "This major boost in investment is tribute and reward for the dedicated and hard-working workforce at Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall.

"The British car industry is once again a ray of sunshine in gloomy times for British manufacturing.

"The UK has the potential to be a manufacturing success story, if we had a Government which was prepared to roll its sleeves up and intervene to support employers up and down the UK."

Major investment for region's Mini plants

The production line at the BMW UK Mini plant in Oxford Credit: PA

BMW is to invest £250m in its UK Mini factories, including those in Swindon and Oxford, over the next three years.

The announcement was made during a visit by Business Secretary Vince Cable to the Oxford plant, on the day when the Olympic Torch Relay will also pass.

The announcement comes on top of a £500m investment promise in June last year.

BMW said the investment showed its commitment to Britain "as a vital manufacturing base".

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