MINI has taken the wraps off of a new way to experience the brand. In a city where owning a car is becoming more of a chore, MINI has opened a brand experience and rental center partnering with SIXT rental car service. While things are off to a slow start due to the Coronavirus, the vision is for the center to ultimately provide locals with seamless pick-up of rental MINIs as well as place to experience the brand. It’s also an ideal way for potential buyers to engage and experience the product without the pressure to buy.

Official Release: MINI Opens Brand Experience And Rental Center In San Fransisco

Offering an exclusive MINI experience, MINI USA and car rental company SIXT rent a car are partnering with the grand opening of a new branch located at 475 South Van Ness Ave in the Mission District of San Francisco, California. This location will offer exclusive rentals of a fleet of MINI vehicles, as well as offer qualified customers a limited opportunity to book no-cost one-day test drives of select MINI vehicles in inventory.

MINI brand experience

Designed with the customer in mind, the MINI and SIXT partnership, offers an upscale environment and a unique customer experience with design elements that support both the SIXT and MINI brands. Customers interested in booking a car can do so by going to the SIXT landing page on to submit a test drive request. They will then receive a personal email invitation from MINI USA to complete their reservation on SIXT’s website.

Once they’ve booked their reservation, qualified customers can then head over to the SIXT location in the Mission District for their scheduled pickup time. Additional rental days beyond the initial 24 hours will be charged by SIXT at the published daily rates. At the end of the loan period, customers can simply return their MINI to the Mission District SIXT location which is open seven days a week from 7am – 7pm.

“The San Francisco area has a strong affinity for the MINI brand, and through our partnership with SIXT, we’re offering people a unique way to experience time behind the wheel – either with a test drive or a longer rental experience.” said Mike Peyton, Vice President, MINI of the Americas. “With its urban location in San Francisco, SIXT’s positioning at the premium end of the car rental business is a perfect fit with the MINI brand and for customers who come to live, work and play in San Francisco.”

“Whether you’re a local looking to escape the city for a weekend or a tourist looking for the freedom to zip around and explore, SIXT’s downtown branch is perfectly located and loaded with crowd-pleasing rentals that make driving fun,” said Sebastian Birkel, CEO, SIXT USA. “With this partnership, SIXT and MINI are offering a truly unique experience for customers that creatively bridges the space between a traditional test drive experience and a longer-term rental agreement.”

By offering a location with an exclusive inventory of MINI vehicles, customers who live in, or travel to the San Francisco area, can try a MINI for an extended period beyond a typical dealer test drive. Through this experience, leads from customers who express interest in purchasing or leasing a new MINI are captured for follow-up with the MINI dealer of their choice.

SIXT is also appealing to travelers’ and locals’ sense of wanderlust, inspiring them to explore beyond the typical San Francisco tourist sites, with their new virtual tourism web series: “SIXTy bucks and a Full Tank of Gas”. Each episode of the series features two friends who are given a rental car and challenged to explore a city with just $60 to spend. When the money runs out, they have to come home. In the latest episode, local comedians Monica Loomba and Stephanie Foster were given a MINI John Cooper Works hardtop and challenged to hit up San Francisco on a budget. A YouTube link to this new episode will be available following its debut at the event.

Build out of the new location began last summer, followed by training and operations that began at the end of 2019 leading up to the Grand Opening date of March 5th. The available inventory of exclusive MINI vehicles will also feature the new all-electric MINI Cooper SE which is planned to be added to the fleet in the months to come. The electric MINI Cooper SE which goes on sale, March 7th is a vehicle ideally suited to urban life and will be right at home on the streets of San Francisco.