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 30th, 2015
A few weeks ago a couple of our typical sources independently told us to expect the MINI Convertible to debut early this spring. Somehow what was lost in translation (almost literally) was what year. We now know that the MINI Convertible (Cooper and Cooper S forms) will make its public debut in Geneva or New York next year. 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 12th, 2015
We’ve been so focused on the Clubman over the past few months that the F57 introduction has quietly snuck up fast. Sources are telling us to expect the F57 to debut at the NYC autoshow in both Cooper and Cooper S models. How will the F57 improve on the previous (R57) convertible? Read on. continued →
Jan 17th, 2015
This week was definitely dedicated to John Cooper Works. On Monday MINI took the wraps of the F56 JCW, with the car due to hit dealer lots by the end of spring. However, that doesn’t stop MINI from continuing to develop JCW for other FXX models. Next on the list, the F57 Convertible. Based on spy shots from Autoblog, the F57 JCW is already undergoing winter testing in Scandinavia. While the car is covered in swirly graphics, obvious cues (i.e soft top, aero kit, exhaust, brakes) confirm that we are indeed looking at a JCW Convertible.
When we first saw spy pictures of the JCW 3-door Hardtop, the F56 had been on sale for three months. With this new sets of photos coming out before the F57 is even released, it appears that MINI is ramping-up JCW models at a faster pace now that the JCW F56 has been announced.
Expect the F57 to start production in November and its JCW variant in March 2016.
Don’t forget to visit Autoblog for a detailed look at the pictures. continued →
Dec 28th, 2014
2015 will be a huge year for MINI. With the F56 launch out of the way the brand will turn it’s attention to debuting the F56 JCW, F54 Clubman and F57 Convertible. Of course this is on top of launching the F56 JCW race car and further rolling out the F55 five door. And that’s just part of the story. To help make some sense of it we pulled together the top five things we’re looking forward to in 2015. continued →
Nov 27th, 2014
Unfortunately, we don’t have the details of MINI’s strategy in that regard, but words from Peter Schwarzenbauer – left on this picture and BMW AG Board Member – reported yesterday by Automotive News revealed interesting facts about the future of our favorite brand. While the Five Superhero Cars plan isn’t news to avid MotoringFile readers, we have yet to find out what exactly those five cars will be. However, these new tidbits can help us make an educated guess and they seem to indicate that an all-electric MINI might be part of the pack. continued →