The following is a transcript of Senior Vice President Brand Management MINI, Dr. Kay Segler’s speech at the Geneva Motor Show.
Today everything is dedicated to John Cooper Works. And not only the two new models are making their world debut here, but also the John Cooper Works brand, which is celebrating a wonderful premiere.
Let’s first take a look at the two cars right here in front of you: the MINI John Cooper Works and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman. For the first time we have a John Cooper Works straight from the factory. Indeed, we even have two models, each offering 155 KW (211 hp) maximum output right from the start. And developing peak torque of 280 Nm/206 lb-ft -including 20 Nm Overboost- the twinscroll turbo ensures really powerful and dynamic acceleration at all times.
In fact, the MINI John Cooper Works accelerates to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds, with the Clubman hardly lagging behind. The John Cooper Works is also the leader against the competition in terms of CO2 emissions, with a really low 165 g/km. The racing enthusiast can order these two sports cars from his dealer as of 20 March.
Dear friends of motorsport: The epitome of extreme driving pleasure at MINI is now called “John Cooper Works”! From now on the entire range of models for particularly sporting and ambitious drivers will bear this label under the MINI roof. So John Cooper Works is becoming an integral part of the MINI brand itself, following the acquisition of the brand rights of John Cooper Garages in January 2007. Today you see the new brand logo for the first time as a clear sign of a new beginning. This logo stands for exceptional know-how in motorsport, a passionate quest for performance, and unconventional character through and through. All John Cooper Works components are tailored perfectly to the MINI and are developed and manufactured on an absolute premium level.
Let me make a few comments on the two models you see here today: You will certainly be surprised to see two new cars both at the same time. After all, we have always proceeded very carefully in introducing new models since the re-launch in 2001, enlarging the portfolio only step-by-step. But following the first tests by our engineers, we had no choice but to present the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman to MINI racing fans right away, without waiting one single day.
Now let’s move on to the core business of the MINI brand: In 2007 we delivered 223,000 MINIs to customers the world over. That is 18.5 per cent more than in the previous year – once again an all-time high for the MINI brand. Never before have we delivered so many MINIs to customers. So as a result, the MINI brand is growing faster worldwide than any other premium brand.
With this in mind, our decision to enlarge production capacities was absolutely correct – even though this meant shutting down production for a certain period last year. Today, as a result, we are able to meet the ongoing great demand for our three current models, with sales in February, for example, exceeding the previous year’s figure in February 2007 by more than 30 per cent.
What makes MINI so attractive? Quite simply, it is not just the image and flair of the brand so essential to a genuine small premium car, but also the outstanding substance MINI has to offer: MINI offers a truly outstanding finish and the most advanced drivetrain technology. All models come with an exemplary standard of safety, a high level of fuel efficiency, and supreme reliability. This gives MINI lasting value in the aftermarket as a pre-owned car.
A particular point I would like to highlight is that the MINI Cooper D has a CO2 rating of just 104 g/km. This superiority results, among other things, from trendsetting technologies such as Brake Energy Regeneration, an Auto Start Stop function, as well as a gearshift point indicator all working together to make the car very friendly to the environment. With engine power of 80 kW (110 hp) you still enjoy lots of driving pleasure in typical MINI style.
Through its outstanding product substance, the MINI will continue in future not just to thrill its fans, but really to convince them in every respect. This is why we have increased our production capacity in Oxford to no less than 260,000 units a year, giving Sales the challenge to reach a record of at least 240,000 customer deliveries in 2008.
The unique MINI Clubman will continue to thrill modern trendsetters everywhere. Since the market launch of this new model in mid-November last year, more than 10,000 customers have already opted for the Clubdoor MINI. And again, in typical MINI style, we see a large share of 26 percent MINI Cooper S.
Now the MINI Clubman is conquering new continents, after being launched only three weeks ago in the USA and just recently in Japan. Feedback is absolutely excellent, again confirming the positive trend. On average, the customer must wait three months for his car.
But now let me quickly enter the final straight.
For now it’s “pedal to the metal” to the After-Works Party. No – I naturally mean the After-Work Party. Starting here on the MINI stand at 5:00 this afternoon.
We look forward to seeing you all!