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The UK Mini dealer network began to take shape this week with the signing of new dealership contracts by BMW (GB) Ltd.

All BMW dealers were offered the opportunity to sell Mini as a distinct brand, separate from BMW cars, and all dealers took up the challenge. However, only 95 per cent received the thumbs-up this week to progress with building and the recruitment of over 300 new staff.

The new showrooms will begin to take shape once planning permissions are granted, and will be clearly differentiated from the BMW brand. Dedicated sales staff will be appointed, and BMW says that the whole Mini buying experience will be aimed at reflecting a key attribute of the car – in their words, “serious fun”.

The nationwide network of new showrooms should be ready by early summer.