Broadcast PR - Markettiers


October 20, 2015



  • Presenters James May, Kate Humble and Ant Anstead meet the people and experience the technology behind the production of one of Britain’s best loved cars in Building Cars Live
  • For the past eight months, markettiers4dc, the BMW UK Communications team and BBC Production have worked together to bring this primetime live broadcast to the screen

Every 20 seconds a brand new car rolls off a production line somewhere in Britain and approximately every fourth car built in the UK is a built-to-order MINI.

On the evenings of Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 October at 19.30 BBC2 will broadcast live from behind the scenes at one of the biggest and busiest car factories in the country: the BMW Group MINI plant in Oxford.

Over two nights they’ll reveal the science, the engineering and meet the people that produce almost 1000 MINIs in Oxford every day. The three presenters, James May, Ant Anstead and Kate Humble will follow the building of a MINI from start to finish in a little over 24 hours.

For the past eight months markettiers4dc has worked as an extension of the BMW UK comms team acting as a fulcrum between the brand, the factory management and the BBC production team. Our dedicated team consulted on both the editorial content of the programmes and the technical delivery of two 90 minute live shows spread over 15 locations within the factory on two consecutive nights.

Our twenty years experience of working in automotive communications, our long standing relationship with BMW and our knowledge of what make compelling TV means we were ideally placed to help fulfil this unique function.

From the outset we have been involved in the planning of the multiple pre recorded video reports that the BBC has shot in and around the factory over the past few months; selecting locations, interviewees and backdrops that help MINI tell their brand message while adhering to strict BBC guidelines on partiality.

In addition we have helped the BBC TV technical team plan one of their most complex live broadcasts. Using the same technical team that broadcasts the BBC coverage of Glastonbury, the large-scale logistics include a BBC production team of 80 and 22 kilometres of cable connecting the network of live locations.

The programme will take a detailed look at the MINI plant, its 102 year history and the high-tech and innovative manufacturing processes involved in building cars in Oxford and exporting them to over 110 markets around the world. It will examine how a MINI starts life as a roll of steel at the sister-plant in Swindon, then makes its way through the state of the art body shop where it is pieced together with up to 6000 welds, then through the paint process, into assembly and finally through a series of detailed diagnostic tests.

Most importantly the myth that all modern manufacturing is carried out by robots will be dispelled as the programme examines the skills, training and teamwork that puts people at the heart of modern car building. A range of the plant’s 4000 employees will explain their jobs to the presenters demonstrating everything from producing the body, to the paint process, final assembly and the detailed quality testing in the climate chamber and on the test track.

Building Cars Live will also step outside the MINI plant to explore the 56 year history of the iconic MINI brand. It will examine the evolution of global mass production, consumer car buying behaviour and meet MINI designers to see how car design evolves in line with safety, technology and global fashion.