As the hotly debated JCW GP project continues to advance, today we look at some of the factors that appear to have lead MINI to select an outside firm to be so heavily involved in the production of its own special edition.
As was reported yesterday on MF, MINI has been anticipating a production decline in 2006 as the factory undergoes construction.
Additionally, resources at the MINI factory are being diverted away from normal production to build a limited number of R56’s. Approximately 2-3 R56’s are being built each day along side the existing R50/R53 production lines, with a goal of having 50 R56 mules by Christmas.
With those pressures on the current production it is understandable that MINI would start looking for alternative means for completion of a special project like the JCW GP.
Why Bertone? The key may rest with underperforming sales within BMW’s motorcycle division. Bertone was the primary subcontractor for the C1 motorcycle, and as part of that deal had anticipated building a total of nearly 30,000 units. However, BMW halted the line after only about a third of that number had been produced. The JCW GP therefore could be seen as a way for BMW to help Bertone offset some of the losses it would have suffered due to the C1 not living up to the original production expectations.