Update: We’ve just heard from MINI USA that MINI of San Francisco isn’t being eliminated but is being transitioned to a new operator. We’ll have more on this tomorrow.
It’s no secrets there have been more than a few MINI dealers close shop recently. Small cars are struggling to find buyers in the US and some MINI dealers are feeling the brunt of that. Recently long time dealer MINI of San Francisco send out an email to customers announcing that they would be closing the dealership this Spring. While sales have been down, for MINI of SF it was the ever increasing cost of the space in the heart of a very expensive city.
This is an overall trend in the US automotive industry at the moment is bad enough. But losing a MINI dealer like MINI of SF feels different – no matter what the reasons.
First and foremost there’s a loss in the MINI community. MINI of San Francisco (along with many others) had strived to create a community of owners and become a gathering place of sorts for the local MINI owners. Losing that is a huge loss for a group of owners that MINI USA wants to retain as owners.
Then there’s the service aspect of a closing. There are hundreds of owners who rely on a dealer’s service (sometimes to literally keep their R56 going). A disruption like this could drive those owners who live nearby away from the brand due to a lack of convenience.
We want to hear your experience with dealer closings. Have you been affected as an owners or even a Motoring Advisor?