On 10 February three generations of the Noble family who have worked, or currently work at the site, were welcomed by BMW board member for production Oliver Zipse to celebrate six decades of production at Plant Swindon.
Michael Noble Senior started work at the site in February 1956 and was followed by all three of his sons who completed apprenticeships, first with Pressed Steel Fisher, then with BMW.
Mr Noble’s son, David Noble is a network quality manager and his son Ben Noble is completing his apprenticeship at the plant.
Michael’s other son, also Mike Noble, is currently working on a secondment to BMW Plant Eisenach in Germany.
Oliver Zipse said: “I am delighted to be celebrating 60 years of history at Plant Swindon, and to share our pride in the achievements of the plant. We have a highly experienced and reliable team working here, whose expertise has seen Swindon become an important centre of competence within the BMW Group. To be able to celebrate the achievements with three generations of the same family is a special honour.”
It was clearly a very proud moment for the family. David Noble commented: “Dad was so delighted that we all found good jobs here at the site. He’s amazed at the way things have changed over the years. There are so many opportunities on offer such as the degree Ben is doing as part of his apprenticeship, or to travel and spend time in other parts of the company.”
Plant Swindon has frequently been at the forefront of car body manufacture and design during its long history. For a long period it was the largest steel pressings plant in Europe, supplying an impressively wide variety of manufacturers. Now it is a major supplier to MINI Plant Oxford and Nedcar in the Netherlands, as well as the BMW plants at Leipzig and Regensburg.
The excellent depth of expertise has been harnessed to introduce innovations that include laser welding and new flexible manufacturing systems. Swindon currently produces substantial quantities of steel pressings for the MINI, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and BMW X1 ranges. A large proportion of are exported as well as sent to MINI Plant Oxford.
Chris Mark, plant manager noted: “We have a great team here at Plant Swindon, and every credit should be given to our employees. We are proud of this milestone anniversary, of our many achievements and the countless hours of work put in by those before us. We’re looking forward to the future and the next exciting developments that the MINI and BMW brands will bring us.”
Pictured top, left to right, Ben Noble, Michael Noble Sr, David Noble and Oliver Zipse
Below, left to right, Oliver Zipse, Frank Bachmann Plant Director of Swindon and Oxford, Ben Noble, David Noble, Michael Noble Sr