Below is the official speech given by Ian Robertson at the North American International Show (NAIAS) in detroit on 10 Jan 2011.
Ian Robertson: Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing
MINI Press Conference
North American International Auto Show
Detroit, 10 January 2011
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to MINI.
It’s great to be here. MINI is right at home in the US.
And we are also very proud to support the United States Olympic Committee and Team USA, as you see from the logo on the MINI Countryman.
The MINI Countryman is yet another example of MINI’s success in blazing new trails with fresh and exciting models.
This car is a huge hit! Incoming orders are 30% higher than expected. Worldwide, we have already sold well over 15,000 of these cars and it already accounts for around one fifth of MINI’s sales.
As of this month, the MINI Countryman will also be available in MINI’s biggest single market – the US. We are confident it will also receive a warm welcome here, as it has done in other markets.
With optional all-wheel drive, the MINI Countryman also provides heaps of driving fun and performance in the snow… And it’s only appropriate that MINI has now entered into a global cooperation with leading snowboard manufacturer, Burton. The partnership focuses on the Burton Global Open Series, with events in Switzerland Canada and, of course, here in the US.
Snowboarding, with its “rebel” attitude and “cutting-edge” scene is a perfect fit for the MINI brand.
MINI is all about pushing new limits – it broke new ground when it created the premium small car segment. And we have more models to offer in this segment today than any other brand. Today we are going to give you another glimpse into the future at MINI.
But first, let’s take a look at the current MINI family, which is more youthful and diverse than ever.
The model range was fully revised and expanded in 2010 and this is the first time that we have all the members of the NEW MINI FAMILY here in the US.
The new MINI Hardtop.
The new MINI Convertible.
The new MINI Clubman.
And the new MINI Countryman.
The family will keep growing and we will be exploring further concepts for MINI. The MINI Coupé and Roadster will soon take the MINI family to six. The Coupé will go on sale later this year and the Roadster in 2012.
The ongoing success of MINI confirms that we are well in touch with our customers and the kind of cars they want from MINI. We are thrilled that 2010 was the most successful sales year in MINI’s history. Last year we sold well over 234,000 MINI cars in total worldwide. This was 8.2% percent up on the previous year.
This year we’ll have a full sales year with the Countryman and we will continue the momentum. The US will of course play a key role in this – we just had the most successful December here ever for MINI and we look forward to building upon that.
Exactly ten years ago- here in Detroit – MINI began its relaunch after an absence of more than three decades in the US. The new MINI now has well over 300,000 owners here.
At MINI, we always love thinking about what’s around the corner… And on this special anniversary, we will reveal an exciting study for a further car concept – the MINI Paceman Concept!
This car captures the typical MINI characteristics – unique design, clever functionality and signature driving fun – with a new level of agility.
It combines an athletic, masculine coupé appearance with the dimensions of the MINI Countryman. It has more of a horizontal orientation than the MINI Countryman – which gives it a very dynamic expression. It is the strong muscular MINI with sporty elegance.
And once again, MINI is going into territory where no one’s been before – it’s the first Crossover Coupé in the premium small car segment.
And with the 1.6 liter John Cooper Works twin-scroll turbo engine under the hood, there’s real power in this car.
As it’s based on the MINI Countryman, this car can also have MINIALL4, which is MINI’s all-wheel drive.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Here it is – the world premiere of the MINI Paceman Concept.
I’m thrilled to tell you now, for the very first time, that there will be a seventh member of the MINI family – and we will base it on this concept!
MINI keeps growing, the excitement never stops.
And we’re very happy that you could join us today to share a glimpse into the future at MINI. Thank you.