Official MINI Press Release: Good afternoon and welcome again to the MINI stand here at Geneva. As always, the spotlight is on our new models — two world premieres are going to take centre stage in a moment.

But first, let me give you some current facts about the MINI brand. And I am going to touch on our expectations of the second generation MINI.

The year 2006 was a milestone for MINI in two aspects:

We have substantially increased our production capacities, by 20 per cent. For the benefit of these construction measures, we had to accept a decline in production. But we have thus provided the foundation for further growth. This means: We feel confident about the ongoing success of the MINI brand.

In late 2006, the new MINI, the second generation MINI, was launched in Europe and drew an enthusiastic response.

Given this development, we assume that the MINI brand will become even more important for the BMW Group’s retail volume. Last year, MINI accounted for almost 14 per cent of the Group’s automotive retail volume. In its home market Great Britain, the share was even more than 24 per cent.

We expect to reach a new MINI retail record for the overall year 2007. So, in other words, we are going to outperform our 2005 record of over 200,000 vehicles.

In the first two months of this year, we have delivered almost 26,000 MINI vehicles to customers worldwide.

It is our goal to achieve a retail volume of over 240,000 units in the medium term. We will meet this goal, among other things, by launching attractive new products. For the fans of open air driving, we have prepared a very special convertible that you can see in the MINI Lounge above us: The MINI Convertible Sidewalk. Right in time for the season, this new model offers open-air driving pleasure in its most exclusive form — with unique equipment features such as attractive metallic paints, aluminium rims in the new Night Spoke design and brand-new leather seats.

A further driver of retail growth will be another MINI model. We already gave you a foretaste exactly one year ago when I presented the MINI Concept Geneva here at the Geneva Motor Show. This MINI Shooting Brake has meanwhile been developed to series production maturity. So again, we have managed to successfully interpret an authentic MINI concept. The new member of the MINI product family will be launched before the end of the year as the MINI Clubman. Yesterday, we let the MINI Clubman off the leash for a short time so that it could get used to life on the road.

The MINI Clubman will share all the characteristic genes of the new MINI generation as regards authenticity, design and go-kart feeling. So it is an unmistakable MINI and at the same time a stand-alone, unique concept sporting specific attributes and typical MINI solutions.

One thing is true for all new-generation models, including the MINI Cooper D and the MINI One: Thanks to comprehensive optimizations concerning the engine, the chassis as well as the steering and braking system, they offer an even more distinctive go-cart feeling.

But first and foremost, these vehicles master the art of squaring the circle: more driving pleasure at considerably lower fuel consumption. This is guaranteed, among other things, by newly designed engines. No other vehicle in this segment provides such a favourable ratio between driving performance and fuel consumption.

The majority of our MINI models is already below the emission limit of 140 grams of CO2 per kilometre stipulated by ACEA for 2008.

I would now like to continue by presenting the world premieres here at the Geneva Motor Show: the new MINI One and the new MINI Cooper D:

The new MINI One sports a 1.4-liter petrol engine with 95 horsepower. It finished the EU test cycle with an average fuel consumption of 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres.

The new MINI Cooper D has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel engine with 110 horsepower. As a matter of course, its standard equipment includes a diesel particle filter. Despite its dynamic driving behaviour, the MINI Cooper D makes do with a mere 4.4 litres of diesel for 100 kilometres. You have probably already guessed what I am about to say next: Its CO2 emission value is as low as 118 grams per kilometre. This is the reason why we have particularly emphasized this number here at the MINI Lounge.

So the new MINI Cooper D is the most economical and environmentally friendly MINI ever built.

CO2 seems to be a hot topic in these days. All new MINI models are really the best in their class. No other vehicle in this segment has such an impressive driving performance to fuel consumption ratio.

But now, see for yourselves: The two new members of the MINI family!

Please welcome the two new additions for the second MINI generation. They will be launched in Europe, and thus also in Switzerland, in mid-April.

We are sure that these new vehicles will again find a following. As we all know, MINI is famous for its dedicated fan base. And if you would like to experience the MINI feeling up close and personal, I recommend you visit the three-day “MINI United“ Festival at Zandvoort from June 22nd to 24th. MINI fans from all over the world will get together there to celebrate under the motto “Friends. Festival. Challenge“!
Thank you very much!