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May 21, 2003
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MINI Confirms New Convertible Models

Cabrio Versions Set To Further Enhance MINI Line-Up

Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey - Fresh from launching the 200 horsepower John Cooper Works MINI Cooper S, MINI has announced that it plans to further boost its model line up with the addition of open-top cabriolet models.

At the May 15 BMW AG shareholder meeting, Dr. Panke, chairman of the board ended months of speculation about an open-top variant of the 2003 North American car of the Year by confirming production plans for a MINI cabrio.

Dr Panke said: "The MINI brand is an important pillar of our premium brand strategy and we are continuing with our investments. I can hereby confirm that we will be expanding the MINI product range by a four-seater cabrio with the aim of gaining new customers in the open-top small car segment. These derivatives will become another highlight in the success story of the MINI brand,"


The precise date when open-top MINIs will become available to U.S. customers has not yet been fixed but will likely be in the second half of 2004.

In Europe, a diesel MINI has just been launched as well as the John Cooper Works performance kits. The decision to expand the MINI family still further comes as sales figures confirm the brand's continued success. With more than 144,000 MINIs sold worldwide last year, sales have exceeded expectations by about 40 percent. In March of this year the 200,000th MINI was sold since launch.

The strongest MINI market remains the "home market" of Great Britain, the United States is the second biggest market worldwide and Germany remains third.

Jack Pitney, general manager of MINI USA said: "The addition of convertible models to the MINI range takes us again into new territory. We have pioneered the small car premium sector in the USA and when the cabrio models arrive this will bring MINI to the attention of an even wider customer base"

(May 15, 2003)

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