The following is Ian Robertson’s speech introducing the MINI Rocketman and the entire MINI display at the Geneva Motor Show. We’ll have video and photos later in the day.

Bienvenue, herzlich willkommen, welcome to MINI!

It’s so great to see you all this morning. I have new MINIs to show you and exciting news to share with you, so let’s get to it!

Last year, the MINI Countryman had its world premiere here in Geneva. It has already enjoyed phenomenal success right around the world, with over 23,000 happy customers since October last year. This helped to make 2010 our most successful year, with over 234,000 MINIs sold.

Already this year, MINI has had a great start. In the first two months we sold more than 30,000 vehicles. And I am absolutely confident 2011 will be another record year for the MINI brand. But enough facts and figures, I know why you’re really here: to see the new MINIs!

Let me start by telling you what gives this MINI so much muscle. The MINI Cooper SD comes with the most powerful diesel engine yet. It tops out at 215 kilometres per hour. And it clocks 0- 100 in just over 8 seconds.
But don’t let all this performance fool you – the Cooper SD won’t be waiting in line at the petrol pump very often. It consumes only 4.3 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, with CO2 emissions of just 114 grams. And, of course, a whole set of MINIMALISM technology comes as standard.

All this without giving up any of the pure fun and go-cart feeling you get in every single MINI. The SD engine will be available in all Coopers across Europe in the coming months.

While we’re talking about powerful engines, I have to mention MINI’s return to the World Rally Championship in 2011. We’ll kick off things with an official team and car launch on the 11th of April at Plant Oxford, in England.
Another way we take things up a notch is MINI Yours! It offers a range of new colours, materials, and design options to make your MINI even more irresistible. You can see the first design model, the MINI Clubman Hampton, directly behind you.

Taking its name from the area of southwest London, the Clubman Hampton captures the spirit of MINI Yours with its distinctive style, inside and out. This is the first MINI Yours special edition model and is only available until Speaking of 2012 and London, I hope you will be joining us at the London Olympic Games next summer. As the official automotive partner, the BMW Group will be providing vehicles to support the Games. And of course, the Countryman and the MINI E will be among the cars supplied. You can take a look at the MINI E right here at the “Pavillon Vert”.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, I’m thrilled to show you rocket science by MINI. Here it is, our newest concept, the MINI Rocketman!

Inspiration for the Rocketman came from its groundbreaking roots. When Sir Alec Issigonis put pencil to paper over fifty years ago and drafted the first MINI, he made history. He created a car with a minimal footprint and maximum interior space. Simply put: this car was revolutionary. The Rocketman captures this spirit of the original, whilst offering the visionary design and clever functionality.

As we all know, cities are growing and this means: room to manoeuvre is shrinking and the environment needs protecting. At 3.4 metres, the Rocketman is just slightly bigger than the original MINI. But on the inside, it’s spacious and full of innovations. As we say at MINI, “It’s bigger inside than outside.” Its carbon spaceframe construction ensures minimum weight and maximum strength. A lighter car, of course, means less fuel consumption.

But the Rocketman takes MINI’s hallmark “clever use of space” even further. You can see this in the agile double-hinged Clam Doors. As well as with the handy Boot Box, an expandable luggage compartment. What’s also unique: you can arrange the seats for a “full-blooded driving experience”. Or, when your friends are in the back, you just move the seats forward to make more room for them. And ambient lighting lets you customize the mood for each of the driving modes. What’s more, this car advances mobile connectivity with the removable central control unit, the Carry on Key. The Rocketman is firmly linked to MINI’s strong heritage whilst focusing on future innovations. This is exactly what MINI fans expect.

We’re always looking ahead here at MINI. With this in mind, please welcome the new Head of MINI Design, Anders Warming. Anders started with DesignworksUSA in 1997 before joining us in Munich in 2005. You can see how committed he is to this job— giving up the weather in California for Munich. I know we’ll see some amazing things from Anders and his team. Now, ladies and gentlemen, come on and take a closer look at these fantastic new MINIs! Thank you.