At the MINI Press Conference, 4/20/2007, Auto Shanghai. Dr. Kay Segler gave a speech with some inside information on MINI’s amazing successes in China. What follows is a transcript of that speech.
(Courtesy BMW AG, Used by permission)
Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s great to see you here at the Shanghai Motor Show 2007 in Shanghai. I am delighted to present the new MINI to you today, and this extraordinary metropolis is the perfect setting for your first drive. Because Shanghai combines – in a very exciting way – tradition with trends, growth, dynamics and modern spirit – so it is clearly an environment which perfectly matches the MINI!
With MINI, we can look back at a real success story: Since its re-launch in 2001, we have sold a total of about 944,000 MINI worldwide. China has been contributing to this success with substantial growth rates for example: retail volume in Mainland China increased by 145% last year. A new record in 2007 is surely in sight. Year to date the Mainland China volume has already doubled. One interesting fact: in Hong Kong, MINI has reached a market share of 2.5% – its highest market share worldwide.
For five years now, we have announced again and again that we are not able to fully satisfy global demand for this car.
There are two main reasons for MINI’s success:
– Firstly: The MINI brand has a special heritage.
– Secondly: MINI represents the spirit and lifestyle of the post-modern age like no other vehicle.
And this is why you find this car in sophisticated urban centers all around the world.
You can compare MINI to a polished diamond. It has a history of almost 50 years and today, it represents a mix of traditional MINI values and their avant-garde interpretation. And that’s exactly what makes MINI unique: Continuity combined with uncompromising modernity – according to the principle “From the original to the original”.
When you get in the new MINI right after, you will see that this principle also applies to this car: everything that has long inspired MINI fans has been optimized- without compromising the vehicle’s identity:
– High-tech engines with higher performance and lower fuel consumption, an optimized chassis and a new six-speed transmission guarantee the typical MINI driving experience and go-cart feeling.
– Six airbags provide maximum safety in its class. This has been recently rewarded with five stars by Euro NCAP. With an even larger offer regarding colours, interior surfaces, materials and options, customers can purchase their individual, unique MINI.
– We have chosen an evolutionary approach for the exterior design which means: A MINI still looks like a MINI. And that’s exactly what our customers expect from us. But you will also see that our designers have revised many details, thus creating an even more distinctive appearance without losing the typical MINI look.
The interior, on the other hand, shows major changes: You will see that it is more spacious and sporty. We have put a lot of effort in the combination of clear-cut design and high-quality materials.
In order to satisfy future customer demand, we have invested heavily in our production capacity. So from now on, we can produce up to 240, 000 units a year.
With the market launch of the new MINI, however, we will be able to raise MINI retail volume to new record levels. This momentum is strongly in line with the all-time-highs of all BMW Group brands just today announced by the chairman of the BMW Group, Dr. Reithofer.
Furthermore, we are going to expand the MINI dealership network in China beyond the costal region: this means that in the future, it will be much easier for MINI drivers to find a dealership or service outlets close-by.
All in all, I am convinced that with this exciting new vehicle, combined with the MINI brand’s strength and the increased production capacity, we are well-prepared for continuing the success of the current generation with the new MINI.
Ladies and Gentlemen, before you have a closer look onto the new MINI, I would like to tell you what you can expect from MINI in the future. Because one thing is clear: We have more to offer than just this one model.
Obviously, the hatch is the heart of the MINI brand – but we have always stated that we will complement the MINI family by further members.
The first offspring was the MINI Cabrio in 2004. And in the next generation, we are again going to launch a completely new model next year: the MINI Clubman.
So trust me on this:
You can count on exciting product innovations and unconventional activities from MINI in the future. And be sure that everything called MINI will be 100 per Cent MINI!
The plans for China reflect our optimism. We will expand our dealer network parallel to our sales and will continue to grow strongly in China.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now proud to present the new MINI.
Spot on for the new star!