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Head of MINI USA Jim McDowell to Retire

Jim & Todd

The minute that MINI employees learned last week that their beloved leader, Jim McDowell was retiring we started receiving a flood of emails. MINI employees love Jim and hearing that their leader was finally leaving the brand created an outpouring of emotion in more than a few. Nevertheless we wanted to hold-off reporting the news until we had the full picture and more specifically who was replacing him. But before we get to that and the official press release, let’s take a moment to tip our hat to Mr McDowell.

Jim is a man that stepped into MINI from the corporate culture of BMW and never looked back. Always dressed in black, full of laughs and naturally never seen with a tie, Jim lead the brand by living the brand and its ethos. He not only cared about the success of MINI but genuinely cared about the owners of the cars and the community that was built up around them.

On a more personal level Jim will be greatly missed by MotoringFile. He saw the power of the community early on and more specifically saw that MotoringFile was more than just a fan site but something much more important to MINI and the community. With his leadership MINI USA embraced MotoringFile and the community in a way that few automakers have ever dared to do.

Jim, best of luck in your next adventure and thanks for the ride.

Official Release: Jim McDowell, Vice President MINI of the Americas will retire as of December 31, 2013. Since 2005, Jim has been responsible for all aspects of MINI Marketing, Sales and Aftersales in the United States. Previously, McDowell was Vice President – Marketing for BMW of North America, LLC, a position he held for twelve years.

McDowell was named the Automotive News “Marketer of the Year” in 2002, and he was twice named “Marketer of the Year” by Brandweek Magazine. The Advertising Club named him the “2003 Silver Medal Advertising Man of the Year.”

David Duncan will assume the role of Vice President, MINI of the Americas, succeeding Jim McDowell. David is being promoted from his current role as Regional Vice President, Western Region. David has over 15 years of diverse experience with the BMW Group spread across the key operational pillars of Sales, Marketing, Dealer Development and Aftersales. His well rounded background spans the BMW, MINI and BMW Motorcycles brands in the field, region and headquarters in Woodcliff Lake.

Petter Witt will assume the role of Regional Vice President, Western Region succeeding David Duncan. In his new role, Petter will be responsible for sales and service for both BMW and MINI in the Western Region. Petter is being promoted from his current role of Managing Director of BMW Sweden.

Petter has 13 years of automotive experience with the BMW Group spread across Sales, Marketing, Distribution and Training in the US, Germany and Sweden.

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Written By: Gabe

  • Bob Hayhurst

    As a group of people with a common interest, how lucky we were to have had Jim McDowell as the person in charge of both the brand and this automobile that means so much to us. Jim was the perfect choice in both personality and character to lead MINI USA.

    I liked what Gabe said about Jim seeing MotoringFile for more then just a fan site and more importantly it’s significance in the MINI community. It was perfect timing for MINI that Motoringfile, White Roof Radio and Jim McDowell all sort of coalesced at just the right time. I would love to hear an interview on White Roof Radio with Todd and DB before he leaves. For me personally, I am glad to have met him and call him a friend.

    Good luck David Duncan and Petter Witt in your new positions. MINI has the most dedicated, diverse, open minded, caring, unapologetic, freethinking and most importantly, happy owners of any brand of ANY product anywhere. Take good care of it…

  • bgrady413

    I have met Jim more than once at MINI’s On Top and he is a genuinely nice and compassionate man that really was the perfect embodiment of the brand. The fact that he let his son drive up the Kangamangus Highway was super cool, a conversation his son seemed eager to get into, it is a fun road! I will miss running into Jim at MOT as he was always willing to listen and was quite impressed that I stuck it out with my car after all of its early on issues, which incidentally wasn’t MINI’s fault. I hope he stays in touch with the community as he is one of us and lets hope he pops up here once and a while to say Hi!

  • JonPD

    While I have been not always happy with MINI can say without a doubt Jim McDowell is a once in a lifetime leader. Even with the severe disapointment I had with the R60 my respect and pleasure of having him at the head of MINIUSA never waviered. Think David has huge shoes to try to fill.

  • Frank Granados

    I had the pleasure of meeting Jim McDowell in person at MTTS ’08 and he is indeed one heck of a gentleman. A real pleasure to talk to, passionate about the cars, approachable and unpretentious. He does take the time listen to what you have to say. I believe prior to his post as head of MINIUSA, much of his career was spent at BMW NA in different tenures in sales and marketing. I can only wish Jim the very best for a happy, healthy, restful and well deserved retirement. Have fun and don’t become a stranger!

  • Brendan OConnor

    I will never forget him getting teary eyed during the speech he made on the last day of MTTS last year. I will miss the watergun fights and all the other fun we had. He truly was passionate about this company and his job. Mr. Duncan truly has some big shoes to fill.


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