Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Short Story: The Mini

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For more than 40 years, the Mini was one of the most recognizable cars on Earth. But because it wasn't sold in the U.S. after 1969, few Americans were familiar with it. That changed in 2001, when BMW introduced a modern version to the U.S. market. Here's the story of the little car that started it all.

2 comment(s):

Gareth said...

"A modern version"?

Don't talk rot. BMW wanted to market a small car, but decided it didn't fit in with their brand image. Creating a whole new brand would have been a slow starter, so they bought Rover with the intention of using the Mini brand.

The new car has absolutely nothing to do with the old one, apart from a few lame styling cues. That's not to say that the BMW "MINI" is not a good car. It's a very good car, but BMW just got a kick start on marketing the car by using the Mini brand in a very cynical manner.

Most fans of the real Mini are not fans of the new car, which is why you see so many classic Minis running around with "100% BMW Free" stickers.

As a clue to how little BMW care for the Mini brand, look at the names they got wrong on their cars. The Countryman is a laugable off roader, the original Countryman was an Austin brand name for an estate (station wagon) the off road Mini was the Moke. The Clubman is now an estate - the original Clubman was a square nosed variant of the Mini available as both a saloon (sedan) and estate.

Oh and it's rumoured that BMW thought they were going to get a few other marketable brand names as part of the Rover deal, but discovered that Rover never owned those brands in the first place. There were several brands Rover (or it's predecessors) had licensed for a fixed period and no longer owned. The only really usable brand owned by Rover was MG, and the only way BMW could sell company was by including the MG brand.

Gerard said...

Thank you for your explanation.
The 'don't talk rot' part of your message was unnecessary.