For those that just can’t get enough about the latest MINI concept, here’s a transcript of the speech given by Dr. Michael Ganal (Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG) at the introduction:

MINI Press Conference
39th Tokyo Motor Show 2005
Tokyo, 19 October 2005

Hello and welcome at our MINI stand. I am very pleased to present MINI to you here in Japan – the country in Asia where the MINI has touched people’s hearts for decades.

This year, we can celebrate the highest retail volume in the history of MINI so far. According to the projections, we are going to sell more than 13,000 cars. This means that the lion’s share of MINI automobiles in Asia goes to Japan. We are selling eight out of ten MINIs for this region in Japan. But the enthusiasm for MINI is rising in the other Asian markets as well. In 2005, we will deliver more than 16,000 MINI vehicles to customers in Asia.

MINI has continued to grow steadily in the business year 2005: During the first nine months of this year, we have delivered a total of more than 159,000 MINI vehicles to our customers, up eleven percent on the same period last year. Given the current development, we expect to reach the magic mark of 200,000 units sold for the first time this year.

What determines the success of the MINI brand? I would like to name three crucial factors for the uniqueness of MINI as well as the success of the brand.

MINI vehicles have a high-quality product substance which is one-of-a-kind in the small car class. And thanks to countless equipment options, MINI also offers maximum individuality. So the stereotyped idea that “Premium needs to be big” – which is accepted in many Asian markets – is definitely not true for MINI.

MINI is a genuine premium brand that truly cherishes its long tradition. MINI is a symbol of stylish design and the typical, unique go-kart feeling. But MINI is not a retro product. MINI has been developed further and is thoroughly up-to-date. It still seems familiar, but in fact, every little detail is new. So the appropriate slogan would be “From the Original to the Original”.

The MINI brand embodies the urban lifestyle of its customers like no other brand. MINI appeals to young professionals and those young-at-heart, the trendsetters of society whose buying patterns strongly influence other groups of customers. Especially in mega-cities such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai or Singapore, MINI stands for cosmopolitan flair and a free-spirited life.

The success of the MINI brand, also in Japan, is proof of the fact: We are on the right track. And this is why we are going to add new members to the MINI family. Three new model variants – the MINI Seven, MINI Park Lane and MINI Checkmate – are celebrating their Asia premiere here in Tokyo today.

And I am looking forward to presenting a world premiere to you: the MINI Concept Tokyo. We have already shown a concept car at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt; but in this current form, it has been especially designed for the Tokyo Motor Show. This concept focuses on three aspects: ideal use of space, technical innovations and ‘Britishness’.

Convenient storage space is provided by the cargo box in the trunk or by the sports utility box in the side window. But the MINI Concept Tokyo does not only have a lot of space for luggage and sports equipment. On its roof, it also stores a table and chairs for a picnic in the park – this is our interpretation of the typical ‘Britishness’ the Japanese people greatly admire.

Moreover, this MINI offers the driver several technological innovations, such as a snap fit for the mobile phone at the steering wheel. When you take a closer look at the concept car, you will see a lot of technological details which are novelties in automotive engineering.

Another characteristic of the MINI Concept Tokyo is its color: green. You will discover light-green parts on the inside and the outside of the vehicle which are a contemporary interpretation of the traditional British Racing Green.

When looking at this vehicle, some of you will feel reminded of a classic model – the Mini Traveller which was presented almost exactly 45 years ago. We have taken inspiration from the MINI history for our concept study. And with the MINI Concept Tokyo, we have created the modern interpretation and further development of a historical vehicle.

We always promised that the MINI family would be growing, but we have taken our time. Consistent brand positioning and development with a clear focus was our top priority. Today, we are not only presenting another variant. This new variant clearly reveals the outstanding potential and modernity of the unique MINI brand.

Now I would like to invite you to see for yourself what makes the MINI Concept Tokyo so special. Enjoy your time at the Tokyo Motor Show 2005.

Thank you very much.


[ 2005 Tokyo Concept Gallery ] MotoringFile