For the first time since its recovery by BMW in 2000 - 2001, Mini does fight not its production and sales records this year. While deliveries have already declined by 12 in Europe since the beginning of the year, the Builder of Oxford think complete 2006 out of a total of 180.000 registrations in the world, against 196.300 last year. But this reflux is that passenger and sales should clearly back on the rise, with childcare units planned for 2007, with the arrival of the new version of the Mini. It will be marketed from November in its "chic and sport" versions Cooper and Cooper S, animated by 120 and 175 horsepower engines. Time to wait the customers, and the One version "database" will follow in March 2007.
Owner of the mark, BMW has invested more than 260 million additional euros in the three British sites (Assembly, press and engines) to prepare for the arrival of the new model and continue to expand its capabilities, provided much too fair at the outset. The Bavarian manufacturer assumed in 2000 on a production of just 80,000 Mini per year, one third of what he plans now.
The outgoing generation, which will say his farewell to the automobile market in December, will be generated 875.000 total sales over its full life. Without contributing to the financial results that mother BMW, it may nonetheless avail a positive margin. Everyone cannot be said as much, especially not DaimlerChrysler with its Smart boulet, launched earlier.
"We are in a very comfortable situation, we do not have to make efforts to increase our volume, welcomes Kay Segler, Mini Vice-President in charge of the management of the brand. Here, there is little discounts; the average selling price in Europe reached 21.700 euros, including 2,500 euros in options, because the customer is seeking to customize his car.
Anxious not to burn the steps, as was Smart to do so, Mini will deploy a very cautious strategy of development. With only 6 centimeters higher than the former, and an almost identical look, first of all, the new model does not froissera purists. Its main novelty lies in the engines: a 1.6 litre deemed very powerful and efficient gasoline model, developed in cooperation with SAP to produce 800,000 per year for Peugeot and CitroŽn (against 200,000 side Mini), and two diesel versions purchased directly from PSA and Toyota as the previous ones more.
But the major topic is the enlargement of the range. After the cabriolet version launched in 2004, which provides 22 of current sales, Mini wants to continue its momentum, designed declinations break, or even 4 X 4 or pick-up, like to echo to the 1960s, when Austin and Morris had multiplied to such variants named Traveller or Countryman. After presenting prototypes of Mini elongated in four large Salons automobiles and collected very favourable opinions, "he must well launch a version of this type", adds Kay Segler, without giving any timetable.
But, for him, the absolute priority must be to cultivate its brand to its originality. "Achieving growth is not to launch models one after another." "You could even say that the weaknesses of some manufacturers measure to the pace of launches new versions and new engines," he says, refusing this leak in front.