January 12, 2006 BMW will be enhancing the MINI family with a further model. The new MINI model will offer increased interior space and increased functionality in order to appeal to the distinctively experience-oriented and active MINI customer. The new car will take its inspiration from the MINI Detroit design concept shown at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) this week. Although it has yet to be defined which of the unique ideas and design features presented on the concept will be implemented for series production, Dr. Michael Ganal in his speech at the NAIAS stated a time frame of three years for the realization of the new MINI model.
Unique Design, Driving Fun and Individualization
Like MINI’s hard-top and convertible models, the new model will display all the essential MINI characteristics - unique design, pure driving fun and Individualization in a premium small car. These core MINI traits will be strengthened with smart solutions for additional utility space and even greater functionality, an idea which will appeal particularly to an active target group. The additional model will expand MINI’s product offering and promote the continued success of the MINI brand. To date, more than 700,000 units of the current MINI models have been sold, and for the first time within one year, over 200,000 units were produced in 2005.
Inspiration From the 1960 Mini Traveller
The inspiration for the MINI Traveller Concept in Detroit and the upcoming production model extends back to the swinging sixties, when Mini first caused a sensation on the road and the racetrack. With a longer wheelbase, slightly raised roofline, sliding side windows and split doors at the rear these new Mini models went on sale from the autumn of 1960 as the Mini Traveller, the Mini Countryman and later also the Mini Clubman Estate. With the increased utility and room for gear, these models were popular as an agile and stylish companion for extended trips and spontaneous leisure activities. MINI Concept travelling into production
New MINI derivative confirmed for production at Detroit Motor Show A production car based on the MINI Concept Traveller has been confirmed as the latest model to join the MINI range. A production vehicle will be on the road within the next three years. Dr Michael Ganal, member of the Board of Management responsible for sales and marketing, made the announcement at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.
Inspired by the positive feedback for the MINI Concept Traveller at the Frankfurt and Tokyo motorshows in 2005, the new MINI will be a modern interpretation of the classic Mini Traveller and Countryman versions of the 1960s.
It will offer increased interior space and functionality, as well as all the typical MINI characteristics, especially the driving fun and opportunities for personalisation. The car will be modelled on the concept but the final design for series production is still to be defined.
Each version of the Traveller has displayed creative new technology, as well as bringing country-specific themes to appeal to the local tastes of different motorshow audiences. MINI Concept Detroit is based on a winter sports theme designed in the colours of the United States of America flag. The roof rack and boot has convenient fixings for carrying snowboards, skis and mountain bikes.
MINI is now in its fifth year since launch and for the first time it has sold over 200,000 vehicles in one year. Representing an 8.7 per cent increase over 2004, MINI sold 200,400 cars in over 70 countries. Over 700,000 MINIs have been sold worldwide since 2001.
The USA has been one of the major successes for the Mini. The classic Mini was only on sale there for a short time in the 1960s and sold approximately 10,000 over that period. Since the new MINI went on sale in March 2002 each year has seen a year-on-year growth and 2005 set another record. 40,820 MINIs were sold in the US, an increase of 13 per cent over 2004, enabling the USA to hold its ranking as the second biggest market for the MINI after the UK. The UK sold 44,780 MINIs in 2005.