MINI 5-Door on the MINI UK Configurator

MINI UK Configurator MINI Hardtop (Hatch) 5-Door

MINI UK has launched its new Configurator for 2015 which includes the new MINI Hardtop (Hatch) 5-Door.

Colors available to build include Volcanic Orange, Pepper White, Deep Blue Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, Thunder Grey Metallic, Iced Chocolate Metallic, Electric Blue Metallic, Blazing Red Metallic, British Racing Green Metallic, Moonwalk Grey Metallic, White Silver Metallic.

Wheels include the 15″ Heli Spoke, 16″ Loop Spoke, 16″ Victory Spoke (in black or silver), 17″ Cosmos Spoke (in black or silver), 17″ Tentacle Spoke, 17″ Roulette Spoke, 18″ Cone Spoke (in silver or white), and 18″ MINI Yours Vanity Spoke.

Design your own MINI at www.mini.co.uk/design-your-mini.


MTTS 2014 app available for download

MTTS 2014 App (Main) MTTS 2014 App (Update)

The MINI TAKES THE STATES 2014 app is now available for Android and Apple devices!

The MTTS 2014 app requires a login using your registration email and code (printed on your event ticket).  Once logged in, you get options for the the daily Agenda, Route, self Check-in, Games, and Extras.  You can quickly update the content with a link on the main screen (see above).

There are two games: a Trivia Contest and Photo of the Day.  Answer questions and submit photos to earn points.  The app displays the Leaderboards.

There are a lot of Extras.  Set up your Profile, view your registration conformation, get links to submit to social media, photo gallery, recommended hotels, apps, suggested places to eat, fun facts, Sirius XM playlists, Waze information, sponsors, and more.

Download the MTTS 2014 app from Google Play.

Download the MTTS 2014 app from Apple iTunes.

Download the MTTS 2014 app for Windows Phone.

MTTS 2014 App (Update) MTTS 2014 App (Extras)

MINI Starts Production at VDL Nedcar

VDL Nedcar Start of Production

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands was on-hand to drive the first MINI off the production line yesterday at the VDL Nedcar plant in Born.  The historic event was announced on the Royal House of the Netherlands’ Facebook page.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Dutch King Willem-Alexander giving the ceremonial go-ahead for the MINI production on the occasion of the reopening of VDL Nedcar’s Born plant. 
MINI production volume at VDL Nedcar to reach a five-digit range as early as this year.

Born/Munich. The new MINI Hatch, which celebrated its production start at the BMW Group’s plant in Oxford in November 2013, will also be built at contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar in Born/Netherlands from now on. Dutch King Willem-Alexander attended an official function on the occasion of the reopening of the plant in Born, giving the ceremonial go-ahead for the MINI production at VDL Nedcar that let the first vehicle roll off the assembly line. Further guests included the German Ambassador, Franz Josef Kremp; the Netherland’s Secretary of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp; the CEO of VDL Groep, Wim van der Leegte; Dr. Andreas Wendt, Director of BMW Group Plant Regensburg – the partner plant of VDL Nedcar in Born; and Dr. Johann Wieland, Head of Indirect Purchasing, BMW Group.

This move makes MINI the only automotive manufacturer that has series production vehicles built through a contract production in the Netherlands. The BMW Group stands to benefit from the favorable location of the VDL Nedcar site in terms of logistics and its proximity to the UK MINI production network with its locations in Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall. At the same time, the BMW Group is stepping up its presence in the Netherlands significantly, making the region an integral part of the MINI success story.

A workforce of around 2,000 people will be responsible for building the new MINI from summer 2014. This year, the MINI production volume at VDL Nedcar is anticipated to already reach a five-digit range. The same demanding quality standards apply to MINI production in Oxford and Born. In order to ensure these quality standards, VDL Nedcar staff received in-depth training on the BMW Group production system at the BMW plants in Leipzig, Oxford and Regensburg.

Global growth strategy – Expansion of production capacities.

As another important step in the implementation of the global growth strategy, the BMW Group is currently expanding its overall production capacity. As the MINI brand is showing substantial growth, the BMW Group needs additional, external production capacity on top of the capacity of the MINI plant in Oxford which stands at about 260,000 units per year in the medium term. Splitting production of the new MINI Hatch between Oxford and the contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar will give the BMW Group’s global production network with its 29 production sites in 14 countries on four continents greater flexibility for other models. At the same time, the UK production triangle is and will remain the heart of MINI production. “Contract production is a vital flexibility tool for us, and our experience gathered over the past ten years has been nothing but positive. Splitting production of the new MINI Hatch between Oxford and Born will give our global production network additional leeway,” stated Dr. Andreas Wendt, Director of the BMW Group’s Regensburg plant, the partner plant of VDL Nedcar in Born. “We appreciate the reliable, open and trustful cooperation with our Dutch partner. VDL Nedcar has many years of experience in producing high quality vehicles.”

In 2013, the BMW Group produced a total of 303,177 MINI vehicles. Plant Oxford produced 175,986 MINI Hatch, Convertible, Clubman, Clubvan, Roadster and Coupé models. An additional 125,559 MINI Countryman and MINI Paceman models were built by the contract manufacturer MSF in Graz/Austria, plus additional 1,632 units in other plants. Since the relaunch of the brand in 2001 until the end of 2013, nearly 2.8 million MINI vehicles have been produced.


MINI Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Delayed

2002 MINI Cooper

If you are a MINI owner waiting for compensation from several class action lawsuits, you’ll be waiting a little longer.  The cases involved are Aarons v. BMW of North America LLCBourne-Miller v. BMW of North America LLC, and Bonomo v. BMW of North America LLC.  They involve owners of 2002-2006 MINI Cooper Hardtops and 2005-2008 MINI Cooper Convertibles with the automatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

A prior objection to the terms of the settlement was lost before the judgement was made.  However, it contained no new objection that wasn’t already addressed and the settlement is expected to go forward.

According to the settlement, MINI owners who joined the class action lawsuit and who had their CVT repaired or replaced by BMW or MINI will get a 3 year/500,000 mile parts and labor warranty from the date/mileage of the repair or replacement.  Those who who sold their MINI for $4,000 or less without repairing the CVT could receive $1,000 to $2,000 in compensation.


worldwide MINI sales for June 2014

MINI F56

BMW Group continues to have a record year despite MINI sales being down for 2014.  They note sales of the new MINI Hardtop are actually up from June 2013, so what is unspoken is how many of the other models are seeing smaller sales.  From BMW Group PressClub Global:

As expected the recent model change means overall MINI sales continue to be down on last year with a total of 131,896 customer deliveries in the first six months of the year (prev. yr. 148,799 / -11.4%). In June, 28,738 MINIs were delivered to customers (prev. yr. 31,102 / -7.6%). However sales of the new MINI Hatch, the core model which began to arrive in the showrooms in March, are beginning to reflect the positive customer reaction to the third generation of this iconic car. In June, 12,862 units were sold, an increase of 3.2% on the same month last year (prev. yr. 12,460). This positive trend in MINI sales is expected to continue through the rest of the year.

June 2014 June 2013 change year-to-date 2014 year-to-date 2013 change
28,738 31,102 -7.6% 131,896 148,799 -11.4%

See all MINI sales worldwide by month.


MINI USA sales for June 2014

 

MINI USA sales for June 2014

From BMW Group PressClub USA:

MINI Brand Sales

For June, MINI USA reported 5,376 automobiles, a decrease of 18.2 percent from the 6,571 automobiles sold in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date, MINI USA reported a sales total of 24,152 automobiles, a decrease of 25.4 percent from the 32,356 automobiles sold in the first half of 2013.

MINI Pre-Owned Vehicles
In June, MINI used automobiles (including MINI NEXT certified pre-owned and pre-owned) reported sales of 1,924 automobiles, an increase of 2.5 percent from the 1,877 automobiles sold in June, 2013.  Year-to-date, MINI used automobiles (including MINI NEXT certified pre-owned) reported sales of 12,339 automobiles, an increase of 19.5 percent from the 10,324 automobiles sold in the first half of 2013.

 

June 2014 June 2013 change year-to-date 2014 year-to-date 2013 change
5,376 6,571 -18.2% 24,152 32,356 -25.4%

See MINI sales in the USA by month.


MINI in the 24-Hours Nürburgring 2014

2014 24H Nürburgring Team Dombek MINI #134

photo by Team Dombek

For the 2014 24-Hours Nürburgring, there are two MINI teams in the race running from June 21-22.  MINI competes in the SP 2T class.

 

Number Team Drivers Car
133 Ralf Zensen Wilms, Lothar
Bretschneider, Jürgen
Peters, Christopher
MINI JCW
134 Besaplast Racing Team 2 Kai Jordan
Thomas Tekaat
Henry Littig
Franjo Kovac
MINI JCW

You can follow the racing series and the teams from the links below:

Ralf Zensen – See NEXEN TIRE Motorsport Team Facebook page.

Besaplast Racing Team 2 – See Team Dombeck Facebook page.

 

See the 24-Hours Nürburgring Starting List 2014.

 

Leading up to the 24-Hours Nürburgring is a pair of races for the ADAC PROCAR series on June 20 and 21.

2014 24H Nürburgring Ralf Zensen MINI #133

photo by NEXEN TIRE Motorsport Team


collectibles: 2014 Hot Wheels Morris Mini

2014 Hot Wheels Morris Mini

photo by the Lamley Group

The 2014 Hot Wheels regular series includes this classic Morris Mini rally car.  Painted in a metallic red with white roof, it features large #77 side graphics and a Union Jack roof graphic.  It is part of the HW Works series and is number 194/250.  Read about this model and view more photos on the Lamley Group blog.

There is also a special new MINI outside of the regular series (more on this tomorrow).

See other Hot Wheels and other die-cast MINIs.


around the world in a MINI

MINI goes all around 2014 MINI Cooper S

photo by Gigamot

MINI goes all around
A pair of Germans leave today for an epic around-the-world trip in a MINI.  The project is called “MINI goes all around” and backed by MINI Mannheim.  Torre Sauter, CEO of Gigamot, and co-driver “The Fritz” are motoring their brand new 2014 MINI Cooper S from Hemsbach, Germany on an eastward trip across Europe, Asia, and North America.  The trip will cover a total of 21,000 miles (33,802 km) crossing seven countries: Germany, Poland, Latvia, Russia, South Korea, Japan, and the United States.  For the trip across the United States the pair will join up with MINI TAKES THE STATES 2014 in San Francisco.

Follow along with the team on their website and Facebook page.

MINI goes all around