start your engines
Posted by Dale Buss on July 4, 2012 12:05 PM
MINI has continued its remarkable U.S. sales surge through the first half, this week reporting a 15-percent gain in June for June over a year earlier and an 8-percent gain over 2011 for the year to date. Both were record results for the BMW-owned tiny-car brand. "It's a wonderful time to be MINI," Jim McDowell, MINI USA VP, stated.
Indeed, America's leading little-car brand has continued to pile up sales gains even as competition in its segment has intensified with the arrival of the Fiat 500 and, now, variations; Scion's new iQ; and a new effort by Mercedes-Benz to finally turn its Smart brand around in the U.S.
For its next act, as McDowell noted, MINI is about to launch "the greatest rally in our fabled history" — MINI Takes the States. Beginning on the Fourth of July — hence the tagline "Go Forth. Go West. Go Mini" — following a PR kick-off Tuesday on NBC's Today Show, thousands of MINI owners and enthusiasts are expected to take part in MINI's cross-country rally, or part of it, covering a total of 16 states and 13 cities.
To mark its tenth year in the U.S., MINI's bi-annual rally will run from the east coast to the Pacific Ocean by July 15. Along the way, MINI vows to "provide its loyal owners and enthusiasts with genuine, once-in-a-lifetime motoring experiences unlike any other brand, engaging owners and their familes and ensuring they enjoy their MINI to the fullest extent possible."
The brand didn't provide any specifics about what would fuel the passions of MINI owners on this rally but noted that, in 2010, the event included a run on the Bonneville Salt Flats and laps on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The event also is meant as a rolling media-relations opportunity for MINI and its executives.
The event "is perhaps our greatest demonstration of our commitment to the MINI community," McDowell said in a statement. MINI owners, start your engines!