MINI USA To Add Dealerships

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So, GM’s now owned by us, Chrysler will soon be owned by FIAT and us, Pontiac is gone, Saturn has been sold off to Roger Penske Hummer is sold to the Chinese, not a good time to be in the car business it world seem. Unless you’re MINI. BMWs re-tooled and re-imagined version of the venerable British hatchback is still selling like hot cakes, and doing so well, that BMW is planning on adding more dealerships.

In a certain way, it makes sense. MINIs are good cars. They’re well screwed together, handle very well, are versatile and, most importantly in these turbulent economic times, cheap to buy and cheap to operate. They don’t burn much gas, which is good with fuel prices rising, and less gas also means less pollution, which means a MINI will appeal to the hybrid crowd.

In a certain way, it makes sense. MINIs are good cars. They’re well screwed together, handle very well, are versatile and, most importantly in these turbulent economic times, cheap to buy and cheap to operate. They don’t burn much gas, which is good with fuel prices rising, and less gas also means less pollution, which means a MINI will appeal to the hybrid crowd.

With that in mind, MINI USA will add 17 new dealerships to its American network during the next 18 months, bringing the total to 100 outlets across the country. Curiously, the 17 new outlets will be located mainly in as yet untapped urban markets or new markets areas for the brand. You’d think that MINI would have pretty much every city bigger than XX population in hand, but I guess not.

\”Starting in 2011, our aim is to raise MINI sales by a \’double-digit\’ percentage compared with last year\’s total of 54,077 cars delivered and this will correspond with a substantial expansion of our network coverage,” said MINI USA Vice President Jim McDowell at a New York City meeting. McDowell continued, \”We are pleased to be in a position to dramatically increase our U.S. dealerships. I have often said that the world is becoming more MINI every day, and I believe that that sentiment is true, now more than ever, as consumer tastes shift decidedly to cars that offer tremendous value. Our cars are not only fuel efficient, and offer great value, but they also provide a fun and dynamic motoring experience and are packed with personality.\”

That all seems feasible to me. The first of the new batch of dealerships will be Birmingham, Alabama (all cars will be sold not only with AC, but with it on and running at all times, no doubt). After that, dealerships will open up in Pensacola, Florida; Alexandria, Virginia; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; Fort Myers, Florida; El Paso, Texas; Ontario, California; Louisville, Kentucky; Raleigh, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; Loveland, Colorado; Madison, Wisconsin; Mount Laurel, New Jersey; Allentown, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California and Tempe, Arizona.

What’s interesting about that list is Seattle. You’d think there’d be one there already, but until now, the whole of the Puget Sound area has been served by a MINI dealership in Fife (down by Tacoma). A horrible set of circumstances, if you ponder it.

Another odd thing is that MINI is adding outlets in spite of the auto industry having sales figures 37 percent lower, but MINI continues to outperform its competition and its market share continues to increase despite a sales decline over 2008.

So, if you live in any of those cities and have had a hankering to own a MINI, looks like you’re in luck.

Here’s the word from BMW

MINI USA TO EXPAND U.S. DEALER…

MINI USA TO EXPAND U.S. DEALERSHIPS BY 20 PERCENT TO SUPPORT DOUBLE DIGIT SALES GROWTH TARGETS

22.06.2009
Press Release

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – June 22, 2009- MINI USA has confirmed its intention to expand its 83-strong American dealer network by 20 percent during the next 18 months to a total of 100 outlets across the country.

Most of the additional 17 MINI dealerships will be located in cities or areas that will be new markets for the brand.

Speaking at a New York City meeting, MINI USA Vice President Jim McDowell revealed: \”Starting in 2011, our aim is to raise MINI sales by a \’double-digit\’ percentage compared with last year\’s total of 54,077 cars delivered and this will correspond with a substantial expansion of our network coverage.

\”We are celebrating a major landmark for MINI this year, its 50th Birthday, and we are pleased to announce plans for another significant milestone for the brand – the development of our national dealer network to 100 outlets,\” he added.

\”We are pleased to be in a position to dramatically increase our U.S. dealerships. I have often said that the world is becoming more MINI every day, and I believe that that sentiment is true, now more than ever, as consumer tastes shift decidedly to cars that offer tremendous value. Our cars are not only fuel efficient, and offer great value, but they also provide a fun and dynamic motoring experience and are packed with personality.\”

The first of the new dealers to become operational this year will be MINI of Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama. Speaking of the dealership\’s appointment to the MINI USA network, General Manager Mark Gerloff said: \”I am delighted to be given the opportunity to represent such a stylish and iconic brand in Alabama, and be given the opportunity to bring the unique attributes and heritage of MINI to our customers.\”

In addition to Birmingham, Alabama, MINI will open dealerships in the following cities: Pensacola, Florida; Alexandria, Virginia; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; Fort Myers, Florida; El Paso, Texas; Ontario, California; Louisville, Kentucky; Raleigh, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; Loveland, Colorado; Madison, Wisconsin; Mount Laurel, New Jersey; Allentown, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California and Tempe, Arizona.

Industry sales in the US this year have recorded a 37 percent decline through May, but MINI continues to outperform its competition and its market share continues to increase despite a sales decline over 2008.

MINI in the US
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC which has been present in the United States since 1975. Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group\’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 335 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 142 BMW motorcycle retailers, 83 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group\’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:

Photo from Flickr user Brian Hill Photography

About The Author

Tony Borroz grew up in a sportscar oriented family, but sadly, it was British cars. His knuckles still show the marks of slipped Whitworth sockets, strains to reach upper rear shock bushings on Triumphs, and slight burn marks from dealing with Lucas Electric “systems.” He has written for a variety of car magazines and websites, Automoblog chief among them. Tony has worked on popular driving games as a content expert, in addition to working for aerospace companies, software giants, and as a movie stuntman. He currently lives in a secure, undisclosed location in the American southwestern desert.

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