View Full Version : USA MINI Road Trip

18-08-2006, 10:33 AM
Link (http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2006/112_news060817_mini_takes_the_states_california_ki ckoff/) here for article.

MINI Drivers Begin 3,123 Mile Road Trip In MINI Takes The States
Over 3,300 MINI owners nationwide gear up to drive cross country in their MINIs for MINI Takes The States.
August 17, 2006

More than 3,300 enthusiastic MINI owners nationwide will get behind the wheel for MINI Takes the States, a two-week cross country road trip open for MINI owners and enthusiasts. The road trip kicks off on August 21 at the Monterey Historic Automobile Races in Monterey, California and concludes on September 4 at the Lime Rock Vintage Festival in Lakeville, Connecticut.

When online registration closed, a total of 3,347 MINIs were registered for the drive, 175 of which signed up to travel the full length of the trip - from Monterey to Lime Rock. For the first leg from Monterey to Santa Barbara, CA, 754 have registered to participate. The most popular leg of the journey proved to be Jersey City, New Jersey to Lakeville, Connecticut, where nearly one thousand MINIs are expected to join the rally.

http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2006/112_news060531_02s+mini_takes_the_states_road_trip +website.jpg

MINI Takes the States is being held to celebrate MINI's vibrant owner community, the launch of the MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works Kit ("MINI GP") and the fact that The Cooper Car Company is the featured marque at the Monterey weekend. In contrast to MINI's size, the event has the rather large secondary tag line of "The 2006 MINI TransAmerican Motortastic Road Trip To End All Road Trips Rally."

The start of the MINI Takes the States rally will follow on from a special customer delivery event for the first "MINI GPs" to arrive in the country. The "MINI GP" is a limited edition high performance MINI Cooper S that made its North American Debut at the New York International Auto Show this past April. A total of 415 "MINI GPs" will come to United States with the first 41 of these cars to be scheduled for a special early delivery in conjunction with the program - The first 32 cars will be delivered in Monterey with the remaining 9 to be delivered when the event arrives into New Jersey.


(http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2006/112_news060817_mini_takes_the_states_california_ki ckoff/photo_01.html)

"MINI owners always bring an unparalleled level of enthusiasm and energy to whatever they do, and I am excited to spend two weeks on the road with them," said Jim McDowell, Vice President of MINI USA. "We are currently planning a number of surprises and activities for participants along the route, and I encourage everyone - MINI owner or not - to keep an eye out for us in August and join in the fun for a day, a week, or even the full trip."

To register or find more info about the trip, visit www.minitakesthestates.com (http://www.minitakesthestates.com/).

For more detailed info on the trip, go here (http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2006/112_news060605_mini_takes_the_states_road_trip/)!

18-08-2006, 07:40 PM
shall we do a brit-cars version

21-08-2006, 04:13 PM
Brit-cars does Britain? :lol:

21-08-2006, 04:33 PM
Lands End to John O Groats in stages?

02-09-2006, 08:26 AM
An update for you with some marketing spin...

MINI Takes a Drive To Spread Its Message

http://www.brandweek.com/brandweek/photos/2006/09/bmwmini.jpgSeptember 01, 2006

By Steve Miller

INDIANAPOLIS – MINI has nothing new to offer this year but a limited edition model and one more ambitious branding endeavor. And no one is complaining, at least at the automaker’s Woodcliff Lakes, N.J., headquarters.

In fact, on Thursday, Aug. 31, a bunch of MINI officials were standing in the rain, mingling with MINI owners and waiting to leave this city on another leg of the “MINI takes the states” tour, a 3,100-mile trek across the country in which MINI owners can fly their auto flag high and, hopefully, take some of the gospel of MINI back to their friends, neighbors and colleagues.

A group of these MINI owners are shelling out $32 for a t-shirt commemorating the drive, which began in Monterey, Calif., on Aug. 21 and ends Sept. 4 in Lakeville, Conn.

They are enduring some rain-swept drives, courtesy of Hurricane Ernesto’s tentacles, as they head east. And they are, with the steadfast geekiness seen primarily in comic book fanatics, notable in their zeal for a chunk of metal.

One man who is along for the full tour, a retired professional chef, now drives his MINI to deliver pizzas. (In case you were wondering, you can fit 34 16-inch pies in a MINI) Another now owns five MINIs. And a couple along the way used the occasion to get married on stage during a MINI event in Dallas.

And eight traffic tickets have been issued to participants.

These people are MINI ambassadors, said Jim McDowell, vp, MINI USA, which is, at least in part, the point of the drive.

“This is an experiment,” McDowell said, navigating his way east at the wheel of a MINI GP, the special model that debuted in April at the auto show in New York. Only 415 of the Italian-built GPs will make it to the states this year, making it a brand-building item among cultists, a limited supply that only purists can crave.

“We are betting that if we get several thousand people to have this fun MINI experience, they’ll go out and tell their friends about it,” he said. “This is not a gamble, but a very calculated bet.”

MINI bets that even the hotels selected, four to five star, physically prominent spots in each host city—moving from the new W Hotel in Dallas to the Omni in downtown Charlottesville, Va.—will help.

In order to provide evening entertainment for participants, MINI also cashed in on some favors from a dozen of its media partners. Men’s Health magazine coordinated a private showing of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in Charleston, WVa. Spin magazine covered MINI for a bill of bands at a club in Nashville. ESPN gave up a skybox for a Cardinals game in St. Louis.

“These kinds of things have been worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Trudy Hardy, MINI’s marketing manager.

For MINI, such help is a way to beat the budget. The company will spend nothing, zero, on broadcast nationally this year, Hardy said, just as it did in 2002 and 2004.

Through June, MINI ‘s ad spend was $7 million, tracking to shed 33% of its 2005 spend of $21 million, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

MINI last year sold 40,820 cars in the U.S., a 13.3% increase over 2004. This year, sales have dipped around 8%, including a drop of 11% in August.

MINI officials maintains that its mission isn’t a sprint to the top of the cult car heap via volume, though, but rather a fragile balance between availability and obscurity that ensures some degree of mystique.

“When MINI started, we sold 20,000, which was good,” said McDowell, a two-time Brandweek Marketer of the Year in his days as vp-marketing at BMW. “And now we will grow slowly. There is more worldwide demand for MINI than there is supply. But there is no danger that MINI will ever grow too large.”

He acknowledged a recent market research study in New York in which participants were queried about a MINI crossover; “I was there, “ he said. “We asked if they could imagine MINI, as a concept, that had all-wheel drive as in a crossover.”

The results are still being tallied, he said, as MINI ponders an elongated vehicle tentatively named the “Clubman” for U.S. release in 2008.

As far as immediate size matters go, the 2007 MINI that launches in February will be about six inches longer than this year’s model.

There is no doubt that MINI will change, or to spin it more optimistically, evolve, McDowell promised.

“It’s better to change too soon than to change too late.”

The MINI states initiative will garner an estimated 3,300 participants. When you think there are roughly 150,000 MINI owners in the U.S., it’s small and comfortable, a fraction of market share. Something like a MINI.