MINI is having a live online Press conference
happening now. The press conference has ended and I will be posting photos and videos as they become available.
Jim McDowell talking about sales numbers and credit problems.
MINI is the new black, everything is getting smaller. People trading in SUVs for MINIs.
Why get a MINI. Better mileage, more modern, green and want to use less oil.
MINI is social, practical and owners are enthusiastic. This is an important group.
Typical MINI has $4K – $5K worth of options, half are sold with Leather interior. Bluetooth prep becoming more popular.
50% of dealers are increasing in size, adding 13 dealers over 13 months.
39K MINI Convertibles sold in the US. Most important market for convertible.
Adding JCW Convertible by April.
Here come Vincent Kung
Vinnie is going over new features of the convertible.
Top opens and closes in 15 seconds. Rear seats are split folding to allow access to rear cargo area.
Boot hinges moved inside and opening is much larger.
All new interior compared to last version of the convertible. New openometer counts top down while engine is running. Keeps info in computer.
Top can be closed at 18MPH.
Reviewing safety including reinforcements and roll-over protect.
118/114lb/ft, 0-60 @ 8.9 sec. 39MPG for the cooper.
172hp for MCS. 34 MPG with Manual
JCW has 208 HP, 0-60 6.5 seconds, 34MPG
Reviewing JCW features, including those that are included on the JCW car.
Pricing. MC @ $24,550, MCS @27,450, JCW @ 34,950. All include $650 D&H
Time for a break.
Introducing Trudy Hardy
Talking about marketing for the Convertible, starting with the Openometer. Creating a microsite for convertible owners to upload open times and pictures.
Working with iPhone, Android phone and Blackberry for website.
Might open to other markets and use for possible new owners.
Print advertising will continue with inserts in key magazines.
And new Billboards.
Talking about doing more marketing online. Working with weather.com with a widget. Another that shows your car in different environments. Banner that plays up, very clever.
**Marketing plans for the year**
MINI is instigator of optimism.
Mini turns 50. Talking about MINI United at Silverstone. Expecting up to 30K participants.
In the US, August 26th is the actual birthday, watch for dealer events.
**Back to Jim**
MINI will grow, not trying to become the largest car company on earth, always hold true to brand values.
2 special products coming to celebrate 50th anniversary.
A quick touch on the R60.
Who has questions? Send those to @dbwilldo on twitter or comment below.
Talking about MINI D. What it is going to take to get it here. Still no time line.
Keep production lower to help keep residual value higher as well.
No national TV ads planned.
MINI E applications are being reviewed, none have been delivered.
MINI sales are being affected by the recession, reducing the demand for cars. MINI is anticipating a reasonable result for the year.
2008, Cooper was more popular. Average MINI prices typically is $US4K over MSRP.
Convertible top will be available in 3 colors, no roof graphics available.
MINIs on the Big Screen…nothing coming up. Rumors of IJ sequel are only rumors.
Question asked about a hose-out interior. Not recommended.
New dealer to open in San Diego County in about a year by BMW San Diego.
Conference is over. I will be posting it later today.