Yearly Archives: 2015


MINI TAKES THE STATES 2016 Route Announced

MINI TAKES THE STATES 2016 mapMINI USA today announced the official route for MINI TAKES THE STATES 2016.  The updated MINI TAKES THE STATES event website also shows the MTTS 2016 logo for the first time, which incorporates MINI’s new branding.

MINI TAKES THE STATES 2016

MINI TAKES THE STATES 2016 logo7/09 – Atlanta, GA
7/09-7/10 – Charlotte, NC
7/10-7/11 – Richmond, VA
7/11-7/12 – Baltimore, MD
7/12-7/13 – Pittsburgh, PA
7/13-7/14 – Detroit, MI
7/14-7/15 – St. Ignace, MI
7/15-7/16 – Green Bay, WI
7/16-7/17 – Minneapolis, MN
7/17-7/18 – Sioux Falls, SD
7/18-7/19 – Sturgis, SD
7/19-7/20 – Cheyenne, WY
7/20-7/21 – Park City, UT
7/21-7/22 – Las Vegas, NV
7/22-7/23 – Palms Springs, CA

From the BMW Group PressClub USA press release:

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – December 24 – After much anticipation, MINI USA today announced the official route for the 2016 running of MINI TAKES THE STATES . The legendary biennial cross-country owners rally will kick off at Road Atlanta in northeast Georgia on July 9, 2016 and finish at the Thermal Club in Palm Springs, CA, on July 23, 2016.

In true MINI TAKES THE STATES fashion, the route will not take a direct path from point A to point B. The more than 4,000-mile “track-to-track” adventure will travel up the east coast, across the Great Plains and over the Rocky Mountains before arriving in Southern California.  The legendary adventure, which attracts thousands of MINI owners and enthusiasts every other year, will pay tribute to the brand’s motorsports heritage by stopping at several professional race tracks to host driving experiences along the way.

“MINI TAKES THE STATES is one of the most anticipated experiences that the MINI community takes part in every other year,” said David Duncan, Vice President MINI of the Americas. “Owning a MINI is about being a part of a community and never is that more evident than during MINI TAKES THE STATES.  We can’t wait to hit the road this summer!”

MINI TAKES THE STATES 2016 will leave Atlanta making stops in Charlotte, NC, Richmond, VA, and Baltimore, MD. The route then turns slightly west heading towards stops in Pittsburgh, PA, and Detroit, MI.  The group of owners and MINI employees will then head north and cross over the legendary Mackinac Bridge, considered to be a rite of passage for thousands of MINI owners who have participated in the biennial MINI on the Mack event before arriving in St. Ignace, MI.

After crossing over into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula the route heads along the banks of Lake Michigan to Green Bay, WI, before heading west for stops in Minneapolis, MN, and Sioux Falls, SD. The rallying MINI owners will then motor across the Great Plains and through the Black Hills where they’ll make a pit stop in Sturgis, SD, home of the legendary motorcycle rally. The route then heads south for the final legs of the epic journey making stops in Cheyenne, WY, Park City, UT, and Las Vegas, NV, before finally crossing the finish line in Palm Springs, CA.

Stay tuned for more updates or visit MINITAKESTHESTATES.com to receive email updates. For blog posts and press images from MINI TAKES THE STATES 2014 please visit the MTTS 2014 page on MINIUSANEWS.com. Media interested in updates on MINI USA can also follow us on Twitter at @MINIUSANEWS.


worldwide MINI sales for November 2015

2015mini5door1966

Global MINI sales up slightly for November and up 13.8% for 2015.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

November was a record month for the MINI brand with sales totalling 29,271, just above the extremely high sales result achieved in November last year (+0.9%). MINI sales for the year-to-date are also higher than ever, with a total of 302,091 delivered to customers so far in 2015 (+13.8%). Monthly sales of the 5 door MINI are more than twice what they were in November last year, with a total of 8,510 delivered to customers worldwide.

November 2015 November 2014 change year-to-date 2015 year-to-date 2014 change
29,271 29,018 0.9% 302,091 265,404 13.8%

See all MINI sales worldwide by month.


MINI Countryman Special Edition

MINI Countryman Special Edition

MINI UK has announced a limited edition (250 vehicles) MINI Countryman Special Edition.  It is offered in the exclusive paint color combination of Absolute Black Metallic with roof and mirror caps in Space Grey Metallic.

From BMW Group PressClub UK:

• New MINI Countryman Special Edition launched in the UK

• Limited production of up to 250 models

• Space Grey Metallic roof and mirror caps exclusive to the MINI Countryman Special Edition

• MINI Navigation System fitted as standard

MINI is launching a new limited edition Countryman in the UK, the MINI Countryman Special Edition.

The MINI Countryman Special Edition has been developed by the manufacturer’s Special Order programme, set up to allow customers to place orders for special edition models direct through MINI Retailers.

Instantly recognisable by its exclusive Space Grey Metallic roof and mirror caps, teamed with 18” 5-Star Double Spoke alloy wheels in black and Absolute Black Metallic body paint, up to 250 MINI Countryman Special Edition models will be available for customers in the UK.

The latest edition to the Countryman range comes packed with standard equipment including MINI Navigation System, Voice Control, MINI Connected, Enhanced Bluetooth™ with USB audio and multi-function steering wheel. Front Seat Heating, Automatic Air Conditioning and Xenon Headlights are also included as standard.

Inside, the MINI Countryman Special Edition has been styled to be as impressive as the outside, with interior surfaces in Piano Black and leather upholstery in Gravity-Carbon Black.

Customers can choose between two model variants, the MINI Cooper S ALL4 Countryman or the MINI Cooper SD ALL4 Countryman in either manual or automatic transmissions. Both model options are paired with MINI’s ALL4 all-wheel drive system which provides excellent traction and quickly reacts to changes in road conditions, while still providing MINI’s unique driving experience.

Customers can order the new MINI Countryman Special Edition at MINI Retailers now.


MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door Carbon Edition

MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door Carbon Edition

There is no MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop 4 Door.  So MINI has done the next-best thing with the MINI Carbon Edition.  This MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door features a John Cooper Works Pro Tuning Kit, John Cooper Works Valve Exhaust System, and John Cooper Works Aero Kit.

MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door Carbon Edition

From the BMW Group PressClub Global press release:

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – December 2, 2015…The Carbon Edition combines the already powerful MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door model with the new John Cooper Works Pro Tuning Kit, valve exhaust system and high-grade carbon fiber accessories. The result is 208 horsepower and an ultra-aggressive exhaust note with Sport and Track Mode*.

The exhaust flap is operated wirelessly via two clicks of the Bluetooth controller and unleashes devilish backfire pops and crackling sound on the overrun.

Genuine carbon fiber mirror caps, air intake trim, and tailpipe finishers are offset against Midnight Black metallic paint and exclusive matte black sport and side stripes accented by a red pinstripe.

The JCW Exterior Package and additional accessory parts further distinguish the edition, with the aggressively styled body kit, rear spoiler, and 17” JCW Track Spoke Black Wheels.

These exterior upgrades are complemented on the interior by an 8.8” high-resolution screen with navigation, JCW steering wheel, sunroof, heated seats, and MINI’s Harman/Kardon premium sound system.

Customers looking to order a Carbon Edition should contact their local MINI dealer.

MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door Carbon Edition

ACCESSORY HIGHLIGHTS:

JOHN COOPER WORKS PRO TUNING KIT

  • Increases the standard Cooper S engine performance from 189 to 208 horsepower.
  • Delivers superb responsiveness through reduced exhaust gas back pressure and adapted software engine update.

JOHN COOPER WORK VALVE EXHAUST SYSTEM

  • Track and Sport Modes:
  • Track Mode: For track use only, delivers maximum emotional sound.
  • Sport Mode: Significantly sportier and more emotional than the standard Cooper S for everyday use.
  • Made from high-quality stainless steel for exceptional quality and longevity.
  • Controlled via handheld Bluetooth 4.0 Exhaust Remote Control.

JOHN COOPER WORK AERO KIT ADDITIONS

  • Blackband front spoiler
  • Matte black rear spoiler add-ons

CARBON FIBER AIR INTAKE TRIM

CARBON FIBER MIRROR CAPS

CARBON FIBER TAILPIPE FINISHERS

SHORT SPORTY ANTENNA

BLACK LINE HEADLIGHT AND TAILLIGHT RINGS

MATTE BLACK SPORT AND SIDE STRIPES

  • “CARBON” glossy black badging
  • Red pinstripe

MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door Carbon Edition

MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door Carbon Edition

MINI COOPER S HARDTOP 4 DOOR  $25,100
 

CARBON EDITION ACCESSORY PACKAGE $3,500
JOHN COOPER WORKS PRO TUNING KIT
VALVE EXHAUST SYSTEM: SPORT AND TRACK MODES
BLUETOOTH EXHAUST CONTROL
CARBON FIBER MIRROR COVER
CARBON FIBER TAILPIPE FINISHERS
CARBON FIBER AIR INTAKE TRIM
JOHN COOPER WORKS PRO AERODYNAMIC KIT ADDITIONS
MATTE BLACK SPORT AND SIDE STRIPES
SHORT SPORTY ANTENNA
BLACK LINE HEADLIGHT AND TAILLIGHT RINGS
 

MIDNIGHT BLACK METALLIC POINT

 

CARBON EDITION OPTION PACKAGE $3,000
PANORAMIC SUNROOF
LED HEADLIGHTS
DYNAMIC DAMPER CONTROL
HARMAN/KARDON PREMIUM SOUND SYSTEM
COMFORT ACCESS
HEATED SEATS
 

JCW EXTERIOR PACKAGE

 

$2,500

17” JCW TRACK SPOKE BLACK WHEELS
JCW AERODYNAMIC KIT
REAR SPOILER
WHITE TURN SIGNALS
 

JCW INTERIOR PACKAGE

 

$400

JCW STEERING WHEEL
ANTHRACITE HEADLINER
JCW DOOR SILL FINISHERS
STAINLESS STEEL PEDALS AND FOOTREST
 

WIRED PACKAGE (NAVIGATION)

 

$1,750

8.8” INFOTAINMENT SCREEN XL
NAVIGATION SYSTEM
CENTER ARMREST
ENHANCED BLUETOOTH AND AUDIO STREAMING
 

RETAIL MSRP (Manual Transmission)

 

$36,250**

+ $1,500 SPORT AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION $37,750**

*Off-road / track use only

**Not including $850 D&H

MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door Carbon Edition

MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door Carbon Edition


MINI USA sales for November 2015

MINI USA sales for November 2015

MINI USA sales down over 11% for the month, still up over 8% for the year.

From BMW Group PressClub USA:

MINI Brand Sales

For November, MINI USA reports 4,444 automobiles sold, a decrease of 11.3 percent from the 5,009 sold in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date, MINI USA sales are 53,505 vehicles, an 8.1 percent increase from the same period last year.

 

MINI Pre-Owned Vehicles

  • In November, sales of MINI NEXT (certified pre-owned) set a November record with 812 vehicles, up 3.8 percent over November 2014, with a year-to-date gain of 24.2 percent to 10,640 cars over the same period in 2014.
  • Total MINI Pre-Owned sales for November were 1,906 cars, an increase of 10.3 percent from November 2014.
  • Total MINI Pre-Owned sales year-to-date were 24,499, an 8.0 percent increase from the same period in 2014.

 

October 2015 October 2014 change year-to-date 2015 year-to-date 2014 change
4,444 5,009 -11.3% 53,505 49,49 8.1%

See MINI sales in the USA by month.


MINI USA’s Gift Swap Returns

MINI USA Gift Swap

MINI USA is bringing back its annual holiday Gift Swap.  From MINI USA, here’s how it works:

1. Sign up to get matched with a fellow MINI Owner.
2. Send them a gift any Motorer would love.
3. Receive a gift of your own.

In addition, MINI USA sends gifts to random participants.

Visit MINI USA to sign up.


The 500,000th MINI Countryman

500,000th MINI Countryman

MINI has built the 500,000th MINI Countryman, a MINI Cooper S Countryman in Kite Blue Metallic.  The 500,000th MINI Countryman will be shown at the upcoming 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show from November 20-29, 2015.  Kite Blue will be offered for the Countryman starting next Spring.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Munich/Los Angeles. With a double US premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2015, MINI puts the spotlight on the latest products to emerge from the change of generation in the brand’s model range. At the international trade fair on the west coast of California, the British premium automobile manufacturer presents both the new MINI Clubman and the new MINI Convertible to the American public for the first time. Both models provide the perfect basis for additional target groups to access the distinctive MINI feeling in its very latest form. The anniversary of a successful model will also be celebrated in Los Angeles: the 500 000th MINI Countryman will be presented at the stand of the tradition-steeped British brand.

By extending its model range, the MINI brand is providing an impetus for its continued growth in the American automotive market. The USA continues to be the most important single market for automobiles of the MINI brand. The appeal of the latest model generation is reflected in this market, too, in the high level of demand for the new MINI 3 door and the new MINI 5 door. They too will be on show at the LA Auto Show, along with the top athlete of the new model generation, the MINI John Cooper Works.

Successful all-rounder: 500 000 MINI Countryman produced to date.
Another success factor in the USA, too, is the MINI Countryman – the brand’s first model with four doors, a large tailgate, five seats and optional all-wheel drive. 500 000 of this talented all-rounder have already been produced, guaranteeing authentic MINI driving fun even beyond the sphere of urban mobility. The anniversary vehicle will be on display at the 2015 LA Auto Show. It is finished in the colour variant Kite Blue metallic, which is presented on the body of the anniversary car for the first time and will be available for the MINI Countryman as of spring 2016.

The LA Auto Show was first held in the year 1907. It is the last highlight of the year in the industry’s international auto show calendar and offers an interesting look ahead to the automobile trends and innovations of the upcoming season. This year, automobile manufacturers and suppliers from all over the world will be presenting their current models and products along with future-oriented studies and concepts at the Los Angeles Convention Center from November 20th to 29th 2015.

The 500,000th MINI Countryman


The MINI Convertible “Stay Open” campaign

The MINI Convertible "Stay Open" campaign

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Munich. The global marketing campaign “Stay Open” is about to get underway in time for the start of communications for the new MINI Convertible. The campaign will accompany the new MINI Convertible up to market launch and beyond in three campaign phases that follow on from one other.

The “Stay Open” tagline for the new MINI Convertible is as multi-faceted as its target audience and pays tribute to the “Always Open” campaign of its predecessor. On a rational level, it highlights new product features that enable the new MINI Convertible to drive with the top down for even longer. From an emotional perspective, it reflects the free spirit of the target group – always cosmopolitan and open-minded. Its life-affirming optimism is a consistent theme throughout all elements of the campaign.

Munich. The global marketing campaign “Stay Open” is about to get underway in time for the start of communications for the new MINI Convertible. The campaign will accompany the new MINI Convertible up to market launch and beyond in three campaign phases that follow on from one other.   The “Stay Open” tagline for the new MINI Convertible is as multi-faceted as its target audience and pays tribute to the “Always Open” campaign of its predecessor. On a rational level, it highlights new product features that enable the new MINI Convertible to drive with the top down for even longer. From an emotional perspective, it reflects the free spirit of the target group – always cosmopolitan and open-minded. Its life-affirming optimism is a consistent theme throughout all elements of the campaign.   The print campaign takes this feeling and stages the new MINI Convertible in open spaces full of bright, vibrant colours. The feel of open-top driving is conveyed with lots of blue sky. Online communications also focus on this openness and driving with the roof down.   The central element of the campaign will be an online film that goes far beyond the scope of regular TV commercials. The short cinematic film directed by Oscar-winner Joachim Back will be revealed in stages – initially previewed with a teaser and landing page to kick off the campaign. The film will be revealed in its entirety to coincide with the market launch of the new MINI Convertible.   Further information on the campaign and online film will follow.   The participating agencies were WCRS, London; KKLD, Berlin; and AKQA, London.   Serviceplan Campaign X will be responsible for adapting the international campaign for the German market. The German campaign for the new MINI Convertible will get underway in mid-February 2016 in time for the market launch on 5 March 2016.

The print campaign takes this feeling and stages the new MINI Convertible in open spaces full of bright, vibrant colours. The feel of open-top driving is conveyed with lots of blue sky.

Online communications also focus on this openness and driving with the roof down.

The central element of the campaign will be an online film that goes far beyond the scope of regular TV commercials. The short cinematic film directed by Oscar-winner Joachim Back will be revealed in stages – initially previewed with a teaser and landing page to kick off the campaign. The film will be revealed in its entirety to coincide with the market launch of the new MINI Convertible.

Further information on the campaign and online film will follow.

The participating agencies were WCRS, London; KKLD, Berlin; and AKQA, London.

Serviceplan Campaign X will be responsible for adapting the international campaign for the German market. The German campaign for the new MINI Convertible will get underway in mid-February 2016 in time for the market launch on 5 March 2016.


RSR Motorsports Competes in the Daytona Historics

RSR Motorsports Garage at the Daytona Historics

RSR Motorsports brought four of their GRAND-AM MINIs out of retirement for the 2015 Daytona Historics on November 13 and 14.  Due to mechanical issues only two of the MINIs were able to race.  Team owner Randy Smalley drove the non-factory BRG no. 196 MINI Cooper S (the former US LED car) in Race 1 on Friday afternoon while former MINI Challenge UK champion Chris Knox raced it on Saturday morning.  Past RSR Motorsports driver Mark Congleton drove the Chili Red no. 195 MINI in both races.  The MINIs raced in Group 3 in class SSC.

In Race 1, Mark Congleton took the class win in the no. 195 MINI.  Randy Smalley made the podium in 3rd place, despite having a transmission issue where the car would not stay in gear.  He had to drive one-handed while holding the gearshift to keep the car in gear.

In Race 2, Chris Knox finished 2nd in class behind the winning Mercedes-Benz 190E.  Mark Congleton was less than two seconds behind Knox for 3rd place and a spot on the podium.

There were some interesting results in the surprising performance of the old MINIs.  Chris Knox posted the second-fastest lap that an RSR Motorsports MINI had ever done at Daytona, a 2:09.005 lap.  Also on Saturday, they recorded their fastest-ever top speed of 147 mph.

The four MINIs will return to their storage facility in Orlando.  The Library of Motoring has followed RSR Motorsports since the beginning and we hope we haven’t seen the last of these MINIs on the track.


MINI USA Wins J.D. Power 2015 Sales Satisfaction Index Study

J.D. Power released its 2015 US Sales Satisfaction Index Study and MINI tops the Mass Market Brands category for the sixth consecutive year.

The study:

now in its 29th year, measures satisfaction with the sales experience among new-vehicle buyers and rejecters—those who shop a dealership and purchase elsewhere. Buyer satisfaction is based on four factors: working out the deal (17%); salesperson (13%); delivery process (11%); and facility (10%). Rejecter satisfaction is based on five factors: salesperson (21%); fairness of price (8%); experience negotiating (8%); facility (7%); and variety of inventory (7%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale. Overall sales satisfaction improves to 688 in 2015 from 686 in 2014.

Their rankings:

For a sixth consecutive year, MINI ranks highest among mass market brands, with a score of 762, a 35-point increase from 2014.

J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index