Dr. Ian Robertson (HonDSc)
Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing
MINI press conference
The 42nd Tokyo Motor Show

Tokyo, November 30, 2011

Konnichiwa, herzlich willkommen… welcome!  It’s great to be here in Japan — a country that has earned the world’s respect for bringing us tomorrow’s technologies, today.  For the BMW Group – a company focused on bringing future innovations to life – this is impressive.

2011 marks 10 years since the new MINI’s arrival at the Tokyo motor show… and it’s been quite a decade.  In this time, MINI has grown from a cute British car into a global brand.  And we’re only at the beginning of this chapter in the MINI legend.

Central to further developing the MINI brand is, of course, growing the MINI Family.  And MINI has done just that.  After the Hatch, came the Convertible, which was followed by the MINI Clubman.  And about a year ago we introduced the MINI Crossover.

The Crossover’s success shows MINI’s ability to grow the brand with truly unique concepts.  Just like any family, every model – each with its own personality – has played a role in MINI’s global success.  In the year up to the end of October, we’ve sold over 232,000 MINIs.  That’s a 23% increase from last year, keeping us on track to make 2011 the best year in MINI’s history.

This consistent and strong growth has kept MINI in the top spot as the most successful premium car in its segment.  Here in Japan, since the 2002 market launch, we’ve sold over 120,000 MINIs.  From 2002 – 2006 alone we sold over 60,000 first generation MINIs in Japan, marking a significant milestone in the MINI legacy.  And in this year, up to the end of October, nearly 12,000 were delivered to customers here.

It’s easy to see why it’s such a big hit in Japan: MINI has successfully created a new segment for compact premium cars with outstanding design.  Now, most of you probably know we celebrated MINI’s 50th birthday two years ago.

As part of the celebration, we had a sneak-preview of two concepts: the MINI Coupé and the MINI Roadster.

We launched the Coupé recently and it’s had a very successful start worldwide… and of course we’ll take a closer look today.  Japanese customers will love it – the Coupé is a perfect cohort for adventure in a city like Tokyo.  They’re available as of today, so you might even see a few during your commute home tonight.

The Coupé is the fifth member of the MINI Family, whilst the new Roadster – revealed just a few weeks ago – takes the MINI Family to six.  But you all know that MINI never waits for the dust to settle.  We’re already hard at work getting the seventh member of the MINI Family ready.  You know it as the MINI Paceman Concept.

This is exactly what MINI is all about… always looking ahead to what’s around the corner…

The Coupé is one of the fastest production MINIs ever.  But performance isn’t the only thing that’s quick about it: the Coupé went from concept to production in only two years.

The Coupé has captured MINI’s boldest elements, from:

  • Eye-catching looks, offering a fresh design that’s at the same time instantly recognizable as a member of the MINI Family; to
  • Sporty go-kart driving excitement with an optional 211 horsepower John Cooper Works engine; to
  • Inventive features like the rear spoiler that automatically pops up at 80 kilometres per hour.

Now, please come up and take a closer look at the fifth member of the Family, the MINI Coupé.  Thank you, vielen Dank, and arigatou gozaimasu!