MINI PRESS CONFERENCE, NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
North American International Auto Show
Dr. Ian Robertson (HonDSc)
Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to MINI!
What a way to start the year — 2011 was huge for MINI. We added the fifth member of the MINI Family last year, the MINI Coupe, and it’s been turning heads ever since. Here in the USA, the MINI Countryman made its debut and is already a runaway success.
But the expanding MINI Family isn’t the only thing that’s exciting about this global brand. Our worldwide growth has been incredible — for us and for MINI fans.
Who would have thought that in ten short years MINI would become a global brand setting the pace in the premium small car segment? Well… I did, for one. And after producing our two millionth MINI last year, there are at least a couple of million other people that thought so too.
And I’m sure that MINI fans everywhere will be glad to hear about MINI United 2012. We’re once again hosting this very special open-air festival for MINI enthusiasts. This year it runs from the 11th to the 13th of May at Circuit Paul Ricard in France — the former host to Formula One races.
But we also have something a little closer to home for all of you MINI fans right here in the US. I’m happy to announce that we’ve confirmed the MINI TAKES THE STATES event for 2012. Details are soon to follow.
Something tells me there will be plenty of fans at these events because there are a lot more people driving MINIs this year. 2011 marked MINI’s best year ever. We delivered 285,000 MINIs to customers worldwide last year. This is a leap of 22% over 2010.
Of course here in the US, our biggest market, we can always find MINI fans. With the help of the Coupe and Countryman, MINI drove to another all-time sales record in the US. Last year alone, more than 57,000 MINIs were sold in America, an increase of 26% over 2010. Rounding out the top three MINI markets for 2011 were the UK with a 13% increase in sales and Germany posting a 28% increase.
These numbers just go to show how much energy this brand really has. So I’m happy to announce that we’re making it even easier for customers to meet their new MINI here in the US. Today we have 110 MINI dealers in our network and we’re expanding that to 125 over the years to come.
And just a few days ago we celebrated another milestone in MINI’s success story. We launched MINI in India and expect to see great things in the months and years ahead from MINI in its newest home. There’s no doubt about it, MINI is a brand with a very bright future.
With all these new dealerships to fill, we’re hard at work creating even more exciting, inventive, and irresistible MINIs for you.
Speaking of irresistible MINIs, it was only two years ago that the MINI Coupe and MINI Roadster concepts were right here in Detroit. Hot off the heels of launching the already successful Coupe, we recently gave a tease of the new Roadster.
Like its sibling, the Roadster was designed with adventure in mind...
What a ride! Ladies and gentlemen, the new MINI Roadster! The Roadster brings MINI’s convertible count to two. We also launched the MINI Convertible right here in Detroit. The brisk January air here in Michigan may be a little chilly for top-down driving right now. But don’t worry… spring is just around the corner!
Just like the Coupe, the Roadster went from development to production in only two short years. With this much speed in its DNA, it’s no wonder the Roadster is so quick. A spontaneous and sporty character gives drivers easy access to unbridled, open-top fun.
What’s under the hood making all this possible? Customers can choose between three models. The MINI Cooper and the MINI Cooper S offer the chance to escape, even if you’re just driving through the city. And for those customers who really like the wind through their hair, the MINI John Cooper Works comes with 208 horsepower and a big appetite for the open road.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, come up and take a look for yourself and the newest addition to the MINI Family — the MINI Roadster. Thank you.