Exclusive: MINI USA Pulls Out of the NYC Auto Show

In what can only be described as a shocking turn of events MINI USA has decided to pull out of the NYC Auto Show just weeks before the doors open. It was rumored that MINI had intended to use the show to unveil the new F57 convertible. It’s unclear if a change of plans with that car led to the pull-out or something more MINI USA specific or even if it’s a part of a broader auto show strategy. Read on for the full official statement.

Here’s the official statement that MINI USA sent to us:

After much consideration, we have decided to withdraw from this year’s NY Auto Show. We have a lot of exciting things on the horizon at MINI and our management team is taking the necessary steps to invest in areas that support our business and benefit our customers. We hope to be a part of the New York International Auto Show again in the future.

  • Noooooooo?!

  • Mark @ MINI of the Main Line

    This is kind of a big deal, isn’t it?

    • Brotha Mark it really is.

      • For once we have zero inside info here. But I agree this is a big deal.

        • I might be able to shed some light on this Gabe. Let me reach out to one of my old contacts/ friends at MINI USA and I’ll give you a shout via email with what I find out.

      • Mark @ MINI of the Main Line

        I can only assume it’s a cost saving measure. They would need a really solid DJ if they were going to make it a show. You know anybody?

        • Is MINI USA really hurting that bad these days? How are sales for you all this year so far? Buick and GMC are soooo different. I truly miss MINI the brand even though I don’t completely miss my old digs.

        • Mark @ MINI of the Main Line

          Winter is always rough. I’m at about the same as I was last year. I’m sure you’re new home is pretty different from your last one. I’m sure the NYC show isn’t cheap, I have no idea what kind of money they are talking about for one of those, but if they don’t have a big product demo in mind, maybe skipping it for a year is a good way to go.

        • writewright

          You mean you are no longer working at MINI of Fairfield County? Fabrizio will miss you, but I don’t think you will miss the chain smoker running the store.

        • No longer unfortunately. I’m at Minchin Buick GMC now in the role of Internet Sales Manager. I definitely miss MINI and Fabrizio as well as my other former coworkers however I don’t miss the stress and unnecessary craziness there which has not changed one bit since my termination.

  • James Nolan

    The one time I’m actually getting the chance to go to a motor show while I’m in the states and my favourite brand pulls out! I’ve heard of companies pulling out of a concept or delaying a premier before, but never to the extent of not showing the brand at all. If BMW and Rolls are still there everyone will question where the hell MINI is. I’m stunned.

  • Well, they will still have to pay for the space. This could be one of two things: they have a big off-site surprise; or they couldn’t get their craap together and they had to pull the plug.

  • R.O.

    Frankfurt is a much bigger show (biggest in the world). More fanfare at Frankfurt.

  • Something else to consider; smaller auto shows like this one may be dying and MINI is anticipating this…

    • If this were a general program move, that decision would have happened much earlier in the budgeting cycle. To pull out at this late a date is a drastic move. Booth design and presentation have already happened, marketing collateral has been designed and ordered. The only savings is from not actually showing up! That’s travel, hotel, some shipping. All the rest is already spent. Overall cost efficiency of the marketing budget would have followed through on the show this year, and pulled out of future shows.

      I used to put together part of the booth for a company for Semicon West. We were done with everything for the show more than a month in advance, other than just setting it all up in the hall.

      Volvo’s pull-out was in the midst of financial collapse. Mini is relatively healthy. The comparison doesn’t hold water….

      There has to be a reason for this late a course change. We just don’t know what it is. But it’s a recent happening, that’s for sure.


    • NY is not a small Auto show. It’s considered one of the most important relative to the Northeastern marketplace as well as being the very last NAIAS of the season. Have you ever been to the Jacob Javits Center? I’ve worked with the MINI USA Auto Show crew there from 2005 until last year as they allow Motoring Advisors to work the shows along side their own crew which was an awesome experience. A good example is Scion. They’re launching two new models at the NY. Auto show this year and they usually have a really major display with lots of different customized cars to show. Chevy will also be introducing the brand new Malibu which is a huge deal for them.

  • Late last year, Volvo decided to pull out of all auto shows except for Geneva, Shanghai/Beijing and Detroit, which shocked some people but also may be a smart move financially. Auto shows can be immensely expensive for manufacturers and the return on that investment is very difficult to calculate. Although NYC may be one of the most well know cities in America, its auto show is not that large or significant. However given the potential clientele that could be roaming the floor and the thought the F57 convertible would be shown, it is still disappointing. Some of my fondest childhood memories were going with my family to the auto show when it was in town, however in the same exposition center as the car show was MacWorld, which Apple decided to stop attending decades ago in favor of organizing their own events which they’ve done to great effect (albeit with little public attendance). It will be interesting to see what the future holds for MINI USA marketing and events after this news. At least they didn’t completely close the door on this or other shows in the future.

  • John McLauchlan

    What? It’s right in the back yard of MINI USA headquarters. Why not have a display of current models to show potential buyers. Confused by this decision in such a large market.

  • Well figure this all. Other than the new Convertible and the (I’m sure they aren’t planning to show it yet) new Clubman there isn’t anything really new for them to show. How much popularity do you think they will receive from showing the Countryman Park Lane? I don’t think all that much honestly.

    • Ashley Wilson

      That’s what I was thinking. If you don’t have anything new to show, why bother going? That said, Ford could show the new GT in every show for the next couple years and it wouldn’t get old. 😀

  • Creed Cate

    I see Bad Press in this, not good MINI

  • Kurtster

    I have the feeling that perhaps, as was suggested there are delays in the convertible, their news would have been so minimal as to have been dwarfed by some pretty major announcements by other manufacturers.

    Examples of such announcements might include the Cadillac CT6: http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2014/12/report_cadillac_ct6_luxury_sed.html

    The new Lexus RX Crossover: http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-new-york-show-lexus-rx-crossover-20150320-story.html

    And two new Scion models: http://blog.caranddriver.com/scion-confirms-name-body-style-for-second-all-new-new-york-debut/

  • writewright

    Grassi is not courteous. I’m sure you are aware that he is more typical than atypical of those working in the car biz. Good luck at the new dealership. Remain “unpolluted” by the prevailing ethos and continue to treat your customers with honest respect. Best wishes, Harry

  • TheMotoringAdvisor

    Having just returned from MINI USA’s Annual Owner meeting I can give you the true reason why MINI pulled out. MINI has always had a prime spot in the center of the show. This included being neighbors to the heavy hitters and other luxury brands in the market. The folks at the NYIAS made the decision to allot manufactures spaces by their size in the market place. MINI, being what it is (small in size and market share), was “demoted” to the outer hall next to Nissan, Kia, and Hyundai. MINI’s move over the next 5 years is to move upstream (even competing against our own parent company in some ways) and sitting next to those other brands would only hurt the image MINI is now striving for. Also, the NYIAS is not cheap, even for these large companies, so they knew they wouldn’t be getting the most for their money. If you go please report on what auto manufactures are located in the main hall and you’ll understand (Chrysler, Honda, etc.).