Monthly Archives: October 2012

MINI Countryman updates for 2013

2013 MINI Countryman

We saw the second generation MINI receive its mid-cycle refresh for 2011.  The MINI Countryman was just launched in 2011 and is now receiving its first update.  Here are the highlights:

  • Newly designed rings encircling the center speedometer and four air vents
  • Remodeled door armrests with new window switches (see below)
  • The three-seat rear bench will be standard (with optional bucket seats)
  • Changes to the interior colors, interior trim elements, and Color Lines
  • Two new exterior paint colors: Brilliant Copper metallic and Blazing Red metallic (see above)
  • A restructuring of the equipment packages

See the BMW Group PressClub Global press release The MINI Countryman: Model update measures for autumn 2012.

2013 MINI Countryman window switches (on door)

MINI John Cooper Works GP price and information

MINI John Cooper Works GP

MINI USA released pricing and allotment information for the MINI John Cooper Works GP.  The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is $39,950 (including the $700 Destination & Handling charge).

The US will receive 500 GPs with one car allotted to each dealership (115 cars).  The other 385 GPs will be sold through a special 800 phone number.  Original owners of the 2006 MINI GP will be given a couple weeks to order a new MINI JCW GP before the ordering begins for everyone else.  The cars are scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of 2013.

We have heard that MINI USA might offer numbered GPs:

We are currently working with the MINI Design house to have numbers added that would perfectly match the red decals on the GP. These numbers will be exclusive to the US market.

More information when we get it.

worldwide MINI sales for September 2012

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

MINI posted its best ever September sales with 30,562 vehicles delivered (prev. yr. 30,392/ +0.6%). The brand has also had its most successful first nine months ever – in the period up to and including September, MINI sold 223,214 vehicles, an increase of 7.2% in worldwide sales compared to the same period last year (208,223). Last month at the Paris Auto Salon, the company unveiled the MINI Paceman. The MINI Paceman is the world’s first Sports Activity Coupe in the premium compact segment and it expands the brand’s portfolio to seven models. The MINI Paceman is expected to provide further momentum for MINI when it arrives in the first half of 2013.

September 2012 September 2011 change year-to-date 2012 year-to-date 2011 change
30,562 30,392 0.6% 223,214 208,223 7.2%

See all MINI sales worldwide by month.

MINI USA’s NOT NORMAL campaign for October

NOT NORMAL campaignUsually at this time of the year, MINI USA would roll out its Motor-Tober sales campaign.  Each MINI dealer was expected to throw a party and attendees would receive a discount on MINIs purchased during or shortly after the event.  This year MINI USA isn’t doing the…well…normal thing.

This October sales campaign uses the theme NOT NORMAL.  MINI USA kicked it off with a typically irreverent video.  If you want to attend, you can find out when your local MINI dealer with host its NOT NORMAL Sales Event.

See the MINI Space article Behind the Scenes of NOT NORMAL which includes an image gallery and music video.

MINI USA sales for September 2012

MINI USA sales September 2012

From BMW Group PressClub USA:

MINI Brand Sales

MINI USA reported the best September ever with sales of 4,899 automobiles, an increase of 22.5 percent from the 3,999 sold in September, 2011. Year-to-date, MINI sales in the U.S. are up 16.6 percent on volume of 48,531 compared to 41,635 in the first nine months of 2011.

September 2012 completes the first year of sales since the MINI Coupe launched on October 1, 2011. MINI USA has sold 3,159 Coupes since the Launch one year ago.

September 2012 September 2011 change year-to-date 2012 year-to-date 2011 change
4,899 3,999 22.5% 48,531 41,635 16.6%

See MINI sales in the USA by month.

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.