Since its 2002 launchduction, the BMW Mini has established itself as a premium small car in the American car market. It's a class that that didn't exist before: small was synonymous with cheap. On the 10th anniversary of the brand’s launch, its leaders can confidently say that Mini has successfully defined this growing segment.
In the last decade, the new Mini has expanded the single Hardtop body style that it launched in 2002, to include six models today. It has increased its dealer network by two-thirds; and cultivated a loyal owner community, which invited itself (and was welcomed) into the die-hard circle of British Leyland Mini owners, who preceded it by 43 years.
“Mini launched in the U.S. when gas was cheap and large trucks and SUVs ruled the road,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President Mini USA. “Many thought the brand would be a one-hit wonder, and we are extremely proud that we were able to surprise he toughest critics, and at times, ourselves.”
Mini challenged the notion of small meaning “cheap” by delivering a premium vehicle in a small package. The brand also demonstrated to many motorists that a small car can meet their everyday driving needs. The sales success first peaked when fuel prices spiked in 2008; but another best-year sales record was set in 2011 when fuel prices were more stable, indicating that the brand had successfully come into its own. Today, one in every five BMW Group vehicles sold in the U.S. has a Mini badge on it, making it a significant contributor to the company’s overall success.
The brand has grown to include six models, Hardtop, Convertible, Clubman, Countryman, Coupe and Roadster, each of which complements the others. Each vehicle in the portfolio has a distinct personality while still delivering on promises of sporty performance, striking design, overall efficiency and value.
MINI USA’s dealer network has grown from 66 dealers in 2002 to 112 dealers today, and up to 125 outlets are expected to be open within two years.––Paul DucheneBack to News