MINI: the dealers' choice

Latest award for MINI confirms its unique appeal as MINI John Cooper Works revs up for its UK début at ExCeL
(PresseBox) (München, ) With over 1.1 million cars sold worldwide since launch in 2001, the best residual values in the car market*, record sales**, a dedicated dealer network and now in its eighth year of production, MINI has been presented with Motor Trader's Car Franchise of the Year award. The judging panel of Ray Hutton (CoTY/Sunday Times), Louise Wallis (RMIF NFDA), Toby Procter (Trend Tracker), Ken Rogers (Fleet World), Mike Moran (Automotive Partnership) and Richard Bost (consultant) made MINI its most sought after car brand for UK dealers at the annual Motor Trader awards night, Wednesday 16 July.

The Car Franchise of the Year Award is presented to the car manufacturer who has, according to the panel, "excelled in terms of producing new models, successfully marketing them and building close relationships with its dealer network. These factors make the brand a must-have franchise for dealers."

The win acknowledges not only desirability of the franchise amongst dealers, but also sales success and product quality - key indicators of customer desirability.

Andy Hearn, General Manager at MINI UK said: "This is an important award for us as it highlights the great relationship between MINI and our dealers in the UK at a time when we're strengthening the network. Our MINI Dealers have invested massively in their franchises, and that commitment is paying dividends both for their business and the customers' experience."

Curtis Hutchinson, Editor of Motor Trader stated: "The brand's extraordinary success since it launched in 2001 has seen it become a valued and admired franchise throughout the motor trade. The judges also praised the success of its popular 'tlc' extended warranty package and the success of its used car business, while also recognising its excellent latest generation models."

MINI's great investment

By the end of 2008, the MINI dealer network will have invested a total of

£57.1 million over a two-year period, with a further investment of £12.4 million due in 2009. This significant investment from the network underlines the commitment MINI has shown to deliver a product range which will stand the test of time.

By the end of September 2008, the MINI UK Dealer network will span 148 dedicated showroom sites. Customers visiting the showrooms can expect to see dedicated personnel and services which go to give MINI customers a unique experience.

June 2008 saw record sales through the MINI dealer network - totalling 5,290 registrations: an increase of 23 percent on June 2007 (and going against the grain compared to total industry volume which is back six per cent year on year). MINI Cooper D Clubman has wooed drivers with its award winning MINIMALISM technology benefits, which include its low emissions (109g/km CO2) and great fuel economy (combined consumption of 68.9 mpg).

Having recently been awarded a number of accolades (including What Car? 'Green Award', Parkers 'Slowest Depreciating Car', Fleet News 'Best Small Car' and British Insurance Car Security Awards in the City/Supermini category to name but a few), new MINI drivers can be reassured that they have made the right choice given growing concerns regarding the environment and affordability.

The new 211 hp MINI John Cooper Works

A new model arrives at the award winning dealerships next week - the MINI John Cooper Works goes on sale on 22 July. As MINI's first unlimited production John Cooper Works model, it pushes out 211 hp, 280 Nm of torque (with Overboost), 0-62 mph in 6.5 seconds* and has a dynamic aerodynamic body kit.

The John Cooper Works brand name has been synonymous with MINI for over 40 years, and now that BMW Group owns the name, it will go on from strength to strength. Priced at £20,995, the MINI John Cooper Works will be first to launch, followed by the Clubman in early 2009 (price tbc).

Initial press feedback has been incredibly positive:

Autocar referred to it as: "The hottest version of the new age MINI so far."

WhatCar? Claim: "As hot hatches go, it's hotter than a blacksmith's armpit."

The Daily Telegraph's Honest John declares "...the 211PS John Cooper Works is a little monster." He continues: "The upside is they have managed to do all this, yet still certificate the car at 165g/km CO2 and 40.9 mpg combined. So the fun doesn't hit you in the pocket in running costs."

MINI goes back to university

The MINI John Cooper Works model makes its UK début at the British International Motor Show on 22 July. Set on a university-themed stand, the first MINI John Cooper Works customer will be handed the keys to their 211 hp car. Other areas of the MINIVERSITY stand include the Institute of MINIMALISM - an area dedicated to MINI's equivalent of Efficient Dynamics; The Union - a meeting place for MINI Owners; the Faculty of Engineering - an area for personalisation and discovery of MINI's production facilities in the UK.

A number of key senior people will be available for interview on Press Day, including:

Johann Schopp - Chief Engineer of the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine currently found in the MINI Cooper S and MINI John Cooper Works Emma Lowndes - Marketing Manager, MINI UK Lee Connolly - Product and Planning Manager, MINI UK Trevor Smithers - National Sales Manager, MINI UK Dan Pulleyn - Used Car Development Manager, MINI UK

* Parkers recently crowned MINI with its 'Slowest Depreciating Car' award
** June 2008 saw record sales compared to June 2007

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