I don't believe the Mini was quite time expired when it finished production. More to do with BMW leaving Rover and no confusion wanted over the name with the new Mini on the horizon. If the Mini was at the total end of the road millions would have been sunk into a pretty major redesign for 1997 with twin point fuel injection, side impact beams in the doors (first seen in the 1970s for Canadian market minis) airbag, seat belt pretensioners etc. Of course adding that few more years to it's life was pretty cheap advertising and the history of the Mini with all it's major rally wins etc was still fresh in peoples minds for the launch of the new MINI
BMW have full ownership of the name and image of the mini - even toys cannot be produced without their say so.
The body panel tooling has all gone down to Heritage who now manufacture all the bits and even complete full bodyshells, also recently the Mini Clubman