Daily Archives: October 1, 2012


The MINI International returns with a new look

The MINI International Issue 38 The MINI International Issue 38 iPad sample

The MINI International magazine was relaunched with a new look and format. It is also still available for the iPad in the Apple iTunes App Store.  The featured model in this issue is the forthcoming MINI Paceman.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Munich. The MINI International has a new design. The MINI customer magazine has been re-launched with a new look and new thematic concept, with the first edition to be presented today at the Paris Motor Show. At the core of the realignment is a new graphic concept even more focused on the lifestyle topics that interest its target readership. The whole magazine centres on the MINI approach to life.

The re-launch promises extraordinary stories about interesting people and exciting places. The main focus will be on the MINI Community, with presentations of MINI enthusiasts and their cars. Winners of contests within the community will also be featured in the magazine. MINI employees will have a voice, too: In the “MINI Master” column, they share what they love about their job. To keep things authentic, the magazine will not use models or excessive retouching and artificial lighting for its car photography. Cars will be presented as an authentic part of the protagonists’ world. A further thematic focus will be on urban trends. The idea is not just to cover these trends – but for MINI to play a part in shaping them.

The MINI feeling is also reflected in the magazine’s new design, with a new cover, trendy typeface, bright colours and an authentic and engaging visual language inside the magazine to round off the concept. Ralf Schepull, head of MINI Brand Communications, commented on the launch of the new magazine: “The MINI International magazine is unique and contemporary, and includes fans, customers and the MINI models equally. With its contemporary new look, illustrations and unusual design elements, The MINI International is thoroughly modern and reflects the MINI brand perfectly.”

In the first edition, artists Bompas & Parr take a drive through the London district and gastronomic hotspot of Bermondsey in a brand new MINI Cooper S Paceman. The two Bermondsey boys, who made a name for themselves as “food architects” with their artistic jelly creations, accompany the reader through the gourmet enclave of Maltby Street.
On a Californian road-trip from Silver Lake in Los Angeles to Palm Springs, with husband-and-wife designer team Rose Apodaca and Andy Griffith behind the wheel, the MINI Countryman undergoes an impressive transformation from stylish city car to agile crossover for desert driving.
The final report comes from Le Castellet, where 30,000 MINI enthusiasts gathered for the largest MINI United international MINI fan festival so far. The column “THE DASH” presents 35 exciting lifestyle products. The category “DRIVE-BY” features intriguing architectural buildings found along the side of the road, such as the petrol station designed by Arne Jacobsen in Denmark.

The new concept behind The MINI International was developed in collaboration with MINI’s new publishing partner. After eleven years, responsibility for the magazine has now been transferred to renowned media entrepreneur Tyler Brûlé and his full service global design agency, Winkreative.

About The MINI International:
The MINI International has been published every year since 2001 in March and September and is geared towards MINI customers worldwide. It is available in eight languages with a print run of 420,000 copies in 85 markets currently. The print magazine is complemented by an iPad app in English, which can be downloaded from iTunes free of charge. It features the top ten stories from the magazine enhanced by short film sequences, game modules and interesting background information.


MINIs to be built in the Netherlands

MINI Rocketman

With MINI Plant Oxford near or at capacity, it appears BMW went looking for another existing plant to build more MINI vehicles.  BMW did this once already, partnering with Magna Steyr to build the MINI Countryman in Graz, Austria.  Now the Dutch firm VDL NedCar has signed a contract to build an as-yet-unnamed MINI model or models in Born.  The plant has the capacity to build up to 200,00 vehicles per year.  Speculation is that it could be the future home of MINI Rocketman production.  From the VDL NedCar website came this announcement:

From 1 January 2013 the company will become an independent car manufacturer for third parties under the name VDL Nedcar. VDL Nedcar’s first customer will be the BMW Group, with which the contracts have also been signed. Following conversion of the production lines, MINI will be built for the BMW Group in Born starting in the second half of 2014.

[…]

The production lines at VDL Nedcar will be converted and prepared for manufacturing MINI between 1 January 2013 and the second half of 2014.

MINI Nederland confirmed the news on its Facebook page today.

Auto Express wrote about the partnership back on September 19th:

However, in spite of a £750 million investment in BMW’s plants in the UK in Oxford, Hams Hall and Swindon, any additional MINI models are likely to be built abroad with the Dutch Nedcar factory a likely place.

“Oxford will always be the heart of MINI” said [BMW board member Harald] Krueger, “And Nedcar is well placed not too far from Oxford.”

Since VDL NedCar has already made the announcement, BMW’s official announcement should follow soon.