Ian Robertson, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at BMW Group, introduced MINI’s exhibit to the Paris Motor Show yesterday. Below is the transcript of his remarks, introduced by Philippe Dehennin, President of BMW Group France.
Philippe Dehennin: “Bonjour and thank you for joining us at MINI! My name is Philippe Dehennin and I am the President of BMW Group France. Ten years ago, MINI stole the show here in Paris when the long-awaited new MINI was unveiled.The new MINI was greeted warmly in Paris and by fans all over the world. As the worldâ€™s first premium small car, the MINI has been an unparalleled success since then. In France, people love the MINI because of its unbeatable urban â€œchicâ€: a brand which knows how to combine authenticity with novelty, and style with excitement. And Parisians love its extroverted and likeable character! MINI has this little â€œquelque-choseâ€ as we Frenchmen like to say, that can make even the most stressed out Parisian smile. This is the true, unrivalled MINI USP! Today we are looking forward to showing you the latest from MINI. And now I would like to hand over to Ian Robertson â€“ Board Member for Sales and Marketing at the BMW Group â€“ who is going to tell you the latest news.”
Ian Robertson: “Merci Philippe. Bonjour! I would like to also wish you a very warm welcome to MINI. There is no other more exciting small car brand in the world and today weâ€™re going to show you once again how unique MINI is. With MINI, it is possible to build upon its heritage, while at the same time, the brand is so youthful and contemporary; we can experiment with completely new ideas.
And now I would like to present something brand new from MINI – the world premiere of the MINI Scooter E Concept! This is the first two-wheel concept in the history of MINI. The MINI Scooter E Concept reflects one of the fundamental principles of MINI: the maximum use of space with a mini footprint. It is a fantastic concept for modern urban mobility. It is powered by a fully-electric motor integrated in the rear wheel and can be recharged at any conventional power socket. Itâ€™s emission-free mobility with MINIâ€™s signature driving fun. Despite being a radically new concept, the MINI Scooter E Concept has all of the characteristics of a true MINI: – Unmistakable design – Clever functionality – And detailed customization options
We gave a glimpse of one of the Scooter concept designs just before at the BMW stand and Iâ€™m sure it reminded many of you of the MINI E. This is the second design we have brought to Paris and it is steeped in the brandâ€™s heritage and British origins. The MINI Scooter E Concept shows that driving fun and sustainable mobility go hand-in-hand at MINI. There are so many possibilities with MINI. The family is growing every year and there are now four MINI models available: The MINI Hatch; Convertible; Clubman and since 18 September, the MINI Countryman. Weâ€™re very excited about the current launch of the MINI Countryman and we expect it to give MINI sales a boost in the final quarter. As weâ€™ve already announced, the CoupÃ© will be produced next year in Oxford and the Roadster will follow shortly thereafter â€“ so the MINI family will soon grow to six. If you look back in Mini history, there were even more concepts of Mini around. In any case, there are enough ideas to keep the brand moving forward and continue growing.
MINI has indeed a unique history â€“spanning over 50 years – and there is no doubt that it is one of the worldâ€™s most emotional auto brands. The world fell in love with Mini, including the rich and famous – The Beatles, Brigitte Bardot, Peter Sellers, Twiggy began driving Minis and even members of the Royal Family. MINI was and is more than just a car – it is a personality on wheels â€“ a fashion statement â€“ and a way of life. The year 2000 saw the start of the new millennium and it also marked a new era for MINI. Ten years on after the Paris launch, the new MINI has established itself as a unique brand, associated with tradition, irresistible charm and winning over all age groups. It has well over 1.7 million fans worldwide and sales continue to grow: In the first eight months of 2010, MINI delivered more than 142.000 vehicles to customers: Volumes are therefore 4.1 percent higher than the same period last year.
In September all models also received design modifications, additional engine variants as well as innovative new equipment options. The revised MINI model range is more diverse than ever. Customers now have a choice of five petrol and two diesel engines offering between 75 and 211 hp. The new generation of diesel engines deliver yet another boost to efficiency and performance. The MINI Cooper D and MINI One D have CO2 emissions of 99 grams per km combined with a fuel consumption of just 3.8 litres (per 100 km). With such impressive figures, MINI is the best in the premium small car segment, as well as offering maximum driving fun! Speaking of driving fun, a big part of MINIâ€™s heritage also belongs to racing. It has won many racing titles – most famously the Monte Carlo rally – which it won three times. As we announced a couple of months ago, I am delighted that MINI is making a comeback on the world rally circuit. MINI fans have always shown great interest in motorsport and I am sure they will enjoy what we have to show you now.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Here it is: The world premiere of the MINI World Rally Championship car. Based on the MINI Countryman, it is the rally car to watch out for. It is being developed by British rally legends, Prodrive and will be powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine built by BMW Motorsport. It will be the first World Rally Car designed by MINI for the World Rally Championship since 1967. It will run in selected rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship season in 2011, before a full assault on the championship in 2012. It will also be available to private Rally teams as of 2011. Weâ€™ve just completed some testing in Portugal and the car drives great. And wait until you hear the sound! On that note, thank you everyone for joining us today.”