From this week’s Automotive News:

Mini’s new chief, former BMW marketing guru James McDowell, sports a green polo shirt and a striped worker jacket from the Oxford, England, factory with his name on the pocket.

Four months ago, McDowell swapped his top BMW marketing job with Jack Pitney, who headed Mini. McDowell turned in his $80,000-plus 6-series company car for a yellow $26,900 Mini Cooper S with a manual transmission. He inherited a staff of 33 employees — 12 at headquarters and 21 in the field.

McDowell believes Mini can easily double its sales in the coming years as it rolls out new models and variants. Mini sold 36,032 cars in the United States last year, a number Mini will meet if not exceed this year, McDowell says.

“You will see steady growth from Mini over the next five years,” says McDowell. “We will continue to add to our product offerings. We will continue to expand the dealers that we have.”

…He’s reluctant, as his predecessor was, to talk about what body style will join today’s hatchback and convertible. The much-anticipated station wagon could arrive when the range is redesigned in late 2006, followed by a two-seat roadster.

“I imagine at least four body styles, and there is always demand for even more powerful Mini motors,” McDowell says.

Fascinating article. You can read it all at the Automotive News sister publication, Autoweek:

[ New maketing boss wants to push sales goals even higher
] Automotive News


[ Next Generation MINI Revealed ] MotoringFile

Thanks Ralph