Over the past six months we’ve detailed MINI USA’s plans to allow for some MINI stores to full integrate into existing BMW dealers. Now we’re seeing that plan take shape with the Sonic Automotive Group moving Long Beach MINI into it’s nearby BMW dealership.
According to Automotive News There are 29 dealers in total that have expressed interest in consolidating MINI into BMW dealers.
Things are progressing quickly and Sonic expects integration to be completed later this Month. Sonic President Jeff Dyke told Automotive News That the new BMW dealer they’re building in Houston will have a MINI dealer integrated from day 1 – perhaps a sign of things to come for other new dealers.
While many of us initially looked at this move by MINI USA as a necessary evil we can’t help but wonder if it might be good for the MINI brand in the long run. It could allow shoppers to cross shop both brands which would expose the Clubman and Countryman (essentially small BMWs) as the values they can be if specced right. And of course it takes a huge financial burden off of dealers to operate two separate stores.