Mar 31st, 2015
Premium does not equal high cost. Nor does a move further upscale mean MINI will turn its back on the style and performance that has made the brand such a success over the years. Now with that out let’s get to the why, how and when.
BMW held onto MINI after the Rover debacle for a few reasons. The ability to lower corporate MPG numbers was certainly one. Another was about placing a smart bet that dipping its corporate toe in a front wheel drive small car brand would be a good idea for the future. And what better brand to do that with than the one that invented the segment.
Fast forward 15 years later and MINI has been full integrated into the BMW family. Not only every generation but every year since that 2001 R50 launch, MINIs have become more integrated into the BMW family. Some would say they’ve become small BMWs. Or you could look at it as BMW has allowed MINI to make better MINIs. Either way the level of refinement and sophistication (not to mention performance and efficiency) has risen dramatically.
But there’s a problem. MINI isn’t making enough money for BMW. The cars are small front wheel drive BMWs being sold for $20,000 USD. Profits are razor thin on moderately specced cars and likely non-existent on stripped down base models. BMW has had two three choices over the past few years. Partner with another automaker (which they’ve tried), abandon the brand (which some have recommended), or simply double down and go it alone. continued →
Mar 27th, 2015
Every year, MINI USA organizes an Annual Sales Meeting between their executives and owners and managers of MINI dealerships across the U.S. This comes as an addition to the frequent visits that MINI USA Regional Sales Managers pay to dealers in their respective geographic areas. The purpose of this year’s meeting was to review 2014 and discuss what’s coming in 2015. While we already detailed parts of MINI USA’s tactics for this year, we managed to gather additional tidbits from our sources. continued →
Mar 18th, 2015
Yesterday the typically reliable Car magazine indicated that MINI’s Superleggera Roadster concept had been approved for a 2018 production date. Today the typically reliable Automotive News says not so fast. According to the industry publication:
BMW has not approved a roadster based on the Superleggera concept for its Mini brand and has not decided whether to add a “mini Mini” that would be built with Toyota, Mini’s top executive, Peter Schwarzenbauer, said. continued →
Mar 3rd, 2015
MINI Space published last week an interview with Christopher Weil, Lead MINI Designer of the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo and Gran Turismo founder Kazunori Yamauchi. Their discussion is focused around the collaboration between MINI and Gran Turismo along with the design process behind creating the Clubman Vision GT. continued →
Feb 26th, 2015
Yesterday we brought you a sneak peak of the Clubman Vision in the upcoming GT6 video game. Today we’ve got the official details along with a full 20 image gallery. Click through for the full details and our best look yet at MINI’s latest all digital concept.
Official Release: Inspired by the brand’s legendary motor racing success, the MINI Design Team has created the essence of a MINI to enable maximum racing performance in the game Gran Turismo®6 for PlayStation®3. “MINI has many highly emotional achievements to its name in motor racing. The MINI Clubman Vision Grand Turismo literally puts these onto the virtual race track in Gran Turismo 6. The image of a go-kart on the road has recurring appeal,” says Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design. (Video after the break). continued →
Feb 24th, 2015
In conjunction with Sony’s Gran Truism 6, MINI has released a digital only concept of the forthcoming 2016 Clubman. The differences? Just about everything. This Clubman is a fictionalized race car that takes the MINI formula to the extreme. The game and the car will be available digitally in March. Now, on to the numbers and what they do and don’t tell us about the rumored JCW Clubman. continued →
Feb 18th, 2015
Last year MINI showed us the thinly vieled Clubman concept that gave us an excellent view of the 2016 model. The new Clubman will be the largest MINI to date and feature a full six doors (four full doors plus two barn doors). It will also have a number of features not seen on MINIs to date including a patented BMW aero technology called “Air Curtain.” Together with the “Air Breather” the system reduces drag on the bodyshell in a very simple, but extremely effective way.