MINI Still Selling Well in the Land of Trucks

An excerpt from a story in the Dallas Morning News:

Two years after Texas finally got some Mini Cooper dealerships, the still-hip little sedans are selling well in a region known mainly for big trucks.

Andrew Cutler, Mini communications manager, declined to provide sales information for Texas, saying that the company does not break out the data by state. But, he said, Texas is helping maintain the company's surprisingly strong sales.

“We have found the Mini to be very hot in California and New York and Florida,” Mr. Cutler said. “There's also a hotbed of interest in the Minis in Texas.”

That may come as a surprise to some inside Mini – though no one will publicly admit it. When BMW launched the Mini Cooper in 2002, the German company said it would focus on the “smile” portion of the United States – a market that begins on the West Coast, stretches down through the Southwest and Southeast and up the East Coast.

With its huge new-vehicle market, Texas was supposed to be a big tooth in the smile. But for reasons that still aren't clear, BMW failed to submit all of the information required by the state of Texas and was initially denied a sales license for the Mini, leaving a gap instead.

At the time, state officials characterized the lapse as unusual. BMW declined to offer an explanation, saying only that the situation would be resolved.

It was resolved – six months later – and franchises were awarded to John Roberts BMW of Dallas and Moritz BMW of Arlington. The company also granted Mini franchises to BMW dealerships in Houston and San Antonio.

You can read the entire article here

  • RB


    Driving back to CA from FL on Interstate 10 in my 2002 MCS my wife and I were stopped by a Texas Highway Patrolman. I figured I was going to get a ticket as I was at 95 mph when stopped. He says…” Nope, what the hell is this thing?” He had never heard of the original Mini.

    He tells me to slow down and “watch out for the local boys ahead!” and sent us on our way. My wife took over driving with this comment, “We don't need no stinking tickets, I'll drive!”

    Ten miles later my wife got a ticket from those “local bafoons” and she was doing the speed limit. Go Figure!

    Being of Irish and German decent I heard about this for 500 miles! She nearly melted the seat!

    As soon as I got home I bought my radar detector! It has saved me MUCHO DINERO since…RB

  • I'll add my two cents from the northside of the Red River. Chad, one of the sales guys at the local dealership in Oklahoma City, told me that he had sold twenty cars last month. Looks like they'll sell where ever you put them.

  • Iain

    MINI's strategy with dealers is a little hard to fathom, especially in Texas. For example, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth each have two dealers. San Antonio has one. But Austin – state capital, home of the largest university system in the US, hot bed of technology, home to Dell and many other wealthy folks – does not have a single dealer. We have to drive to San Antonio. Having said there, there are a considerable number of MINIs in Austin – I cannot help thinking there would be more with a dealer here. But of course, they sell all they can make so why invest in another dealership?

  • Jason

    Jason (fellow austinite)

  • McCullster

    If they are trying to get the smile factor of the South, as they said in that article, then they need to open up a dealership somewhere in Arkansas. The closest dealer is in Memphis, TN, or Dallas, or Oklahoma City. Lots of MINI's in Arkansas but no dealer………and thats an entire state.

  • Dustin

    I understand your pain. I just moved to Oklahoma from Vermont. There is no dealership in VT, either. Yet, I saw them just as often there as I do in OK. P.S… Both times I've been to the dealership here the people working there have been standing around twiddling there thumbs. A huge difference from the Boston dealership I was used to.