Blog: Mini dilemmas
Dave Leggett | 24 October 2006
I've a flight to Barcelona tomorrow morning to try out the new, new Mini. The success of the BMW Mini has created a few dilemmas for BMW. If you opt to ride the retro wave as far as possible with no further models added, there is the real risk of gradual volume decline when the market tires of the car (see PT Crusier, New Beetle). But add models to the brand and get it wrong, because they don't gel with the main brand identity model or upset the overall brand proposition, and that's not a good scenario either (see Smart Forfour). BMW is opting for more models starting with the Traveller.
The latest 3-door Mini sees BMW 'doing a Porsche'. It really is all-new, but it looks very similar to the old one and that's been a criticism already made. It is much easier to build though.
I am looking forward to a bit of wheel time tomorrow. Rob Golding did the route a few weeks ago and said it was a good one. My co-pilot will be just-auto contributor and Autocar man Julian Rendell and I'm glad we sorted the driving partner thing out in advance - will be good to catch up with him. He's a lively and entertaining fellow and I've some questions for him about a recent trip to Brazil that he did.
You are stuck in the cabin with someone for quite a few hours on these gigs and there is nothing worse than finding yourself driving with someone who lacks a sense of humour or fancies themselves as a bit of a Carlos Sainz and drives the car a bit too hard for a bit too long (some of the motoring hacks must think I drive like an unusually cautious old lady).
The article below was penned by Golding whose latest book on the subject of the Mini has been some time in gestation. For any journalist, writing a book is a commitment not to be undertaken lightly when you have a day job and other demands on your time. I'm sure it was a labour of love though and he has had good access to people inside the company. I'm looking forward to, eventually, reading the finished weighty tome.
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