May 07May 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
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)