Archive for July 2009

MINI USA’s Cash for Clunkers Bumper Sticker

MotoringFile Sections: Marketing Jul 31st, 2009 36 Comments


Brilliant. Apparently this was given out to dealers recently to be used over the next several months.

So here’s our question to US MF readers. Are you going to take advantage of the Cash for Clunker Program? If so lets hear your story. And since similar plans have been in place for European markets, we’d ask the same question for readers in the UK or Germany. Have you taken advantage of any government plans that offer cash for your old car?

via Jalopnik

Official: BMW to Exit Formula One

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press, Motorsports, Official News Jul 31st, 2009 6 Comments

This is a repost from BimmerFile. Obviously not specific to MINI but since this is the closest thing to a MINI F2 team, we thought it was appropriate. Thanks everyone for sending it in!

As we reported yesterday, in a shocking turn of events BMW has decided to end its involvement in F1 racing at the end of the 2009 season. Instead it will turn its focus on creating consumer products (both BMW and MINI) and increase its work in the area of sustainability. Undoubtedly cost was also an issue.

While the team wasn’t in top form this year, they have been quite consistent in year pass and quickly moved up the ranks to become one of F1’s top teams. They will be missed not only here at the MF/BF HQ but all across the world. Here’s the official release:

The BMW Group will not continue its Formula One campaign after the end of the 2009 season. Resources freed up as a result are to be dedicated to the development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability. BMW will continue to be actively involved in other motor sports series. The landmark decision to restructure BMW Motorsport’s activities was made at the Board of Management’s meeting yesterday.

“Of course, this was a difficult decision for us. But it’s a resolute step in view of our company’s strategic realignment,” explained Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “Premium will increasingly be defined in terms of sustainability and environmental compatibility. This is an area in which we want to remain in the lead. In line with our Strategy Number ONE, we are continually reviewing all projects and initiatives to check them for future viability and sustainability. Our Formula One campaign is thus less a key promoter for us. Mario Theissen has been in charge of our motor sports program since 1999. We have scored a large number of successes in this period, including some in Formula One racing. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mario Theissen and his team for this,” said Reithofer. continued →

MINI at the IAA 2009 Frankfurt Motorshow

MotoringFile Sections: Events, Official News Jul 30th, 2009 8 Comments

Official Release: On September 15, 2009, IAA Frankfurt Motor Show opens its gates to the press. A first for BMW Group: This year, all three brands are presented under one roof – in Hall 11 which today was officially opened by Frankfurt’s Lord Mayor Petra Roth. Europe’s most state-of-the-art exhibition hall can be reached directly from the new main entrance of the Frankfurt exhibition grounds. The highlight of BMW’s 2009 motor show presentation is a circuit of several hundred meters length that encloses the entire exhibition space and on which the BMW EfficientDynamics fleet and the world premieres will be presented.

Thomas Muderlak, responsible for BMW Group’s presentation at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show: “Participation in motor shows is an important feature in our communication activities directed at customers, the media and trade visitors. We are delighted that the 2009 IAA gives us the opportunity to build on our tradition of innovative motor show presences and this time to present all three brands under one roof – a first. A highlight for our visitors will be to experience our vehicles in motion: For the BMW brand, our presentation will implement the brand’s motto of ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’ quite literally.” continued →

’62 Mini to Race in 24 Hours of LeMons

MotoringFile Sections: Motorsports Jul 30th, 2009 1 Comment


As we at MF gear up to enter our own 24 Hours of LeMons race in early October (without a MINI sadly) we couldn’t help but be inspired by a team from San Diego who have entered a ’62 Mini in the race. For those that don’t know, the 24 Hours of LeMons is a race where cars can’t cost any more than $500 and craziness is a rule of thumb. Think the original Cannonball Run on a budget and on a track.

+ 24 Hours of LeMons / 24hoursoflemons.com

+ SD Minis LeMons Garage / HubGarage.com

White Roof Radio #300

MotoringFile Sections: Podcast Jul 28th, 2009 9 Comments


We start out with news from MotoringFile like we like to do, break into a few voicemails (Thanks Drill and Jonathan!) and finish with some great talk about the R60 and upcoming MINI Coupe with Gabe. All recorded live with over 150 listeners! We also spend time time talking about tires, Top Gear and MINIs in the Mountains.

This episode marks the 300th episode of The World Famous White Roof Radio! And, this coming Saturday, August 1st marks our fourth year! Besides the 300 episodes of White Roof Radio, we’ve put up over 200 other episodes recorded in England, Amsterdam, Las Vegas and all over the United States and Canada (thanks Robert!). Thanks to everyone for sticking with us for this long.

Woofcast 300:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

continued →

MINI Launches “The Open One” Convertible Openometer Site

MotoringFile Sections: Best of the Web, Marketing Jul 28th, 2009 13 Comments


MINI’s plans for the Openometer gauge (as seen in the new MINI Convertible) are finally coming into focus. This morning MINI USA launched the theOpenone.com, a website to track R57 owner’s top-down motoring to the minute. The site will work for any owner of a 2009 or 2010 MINI Convertible.

The idea is simple. As a MINI Convertible owner you can register and start logging hours into the simple. However if you think you’re especially hardy and have the top down more than most you’ll have chance to not only impress friends but also win actual prices. continued →

MF Exclusive: R56 Based Diesels Not Coming to the US Market

MotoringFile Sections: Diesel Jul 27th, 2009 40 Comments

Cooper D

Over the years we’ve reported that MINI USA has been trying desperately to figure out a way to bring the MINI diesel to the US – MINI’s largest market in the world. As we have mentioned the issues are varied. But just recently out sources have confirmed that the fight may be over for the R56 generation of MINIs. After some particularly busy months of pricing scenarios it would appear that MINI USA has given up hope to bring an oil burner to the US.

The reason is that the costs for converting the European Diesel engine to US specifications are just astronomical for a three- or four-year production run. Even if MINI USA charged 10%-15% more, they’d never make any money and at the end of the day based on our sources. On the other side of the equation, is MINI USA priced the car at 40%-50% more to pay for the re-engineering required, few would buy them at today’s moderately low fuel prices.

So put those R56 Cooper D dreams on the back-burner for another 4-5 years. It will likely take the next generation MINI to see them come to fruition. However (and this is a big one) plans are still in the air for the R60 based Cooper S D to make it across the pond. We’ll have more on this in the coming weeks.

For those who will find fault with MINI on this decision… we can understand your frustration. However remember that MINI and even BMW are relatively small independent companies compared to the other automakers out there. VW specifically has the ability to spend the money and then spread the costs around the company and different products when it comes to their diesels. Yet MINI (and even BMW) have to invest and be very very cautious with every penny they spend in order to remain profitable and ultimately independent. It’s a very tight rope to walk.

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