Mini sales in ’01 surprised

Time 3:34 am, April 28, 2011

miniPHENOMENAL sales of the ‘new’ Mini in 2001 took BMW by ‘surprise’ says Mini UK’s director Jochen Goller.

Speaking exclusively to Car Dealer at the launch of the Mini Cooper SD, the Mini UK director said that at the launch of the new Mini in 2001, actual sale numbers took BMW by surprise, beating conservative estimates.

‘I was part of the launch team back in 2001 in Munich, and was also part of the roll-out of the car for the next three and a half years,’ said Goller.

‘I remember in the beginning we only anticipated sales of 100,000 worldwide, but by year four we were breaking the 200,000 mark. The success of Mini has been absolutely phenomenal in the last ten years, and I have to admit it took us really by surprise.’

Goller also revealed that the Mini was going to be a premium small car from the very outset, and would form part of BMW’s premium image it now portrays – and Rover never cut the mustard.


Original Mini was a car - new Mini is a brand, and was always meant to be

‘With the Mini we purposely created a new segment – it was never going to be just a replacement for the original Mini,’ he said. ‘We took the original Mini, which was a basic car in terms of equipment, safety and price, and then placed it as a ‘premium small car.’

‘We created Mini to be a brand, not a car, and in so doing created the segment with the intention to own it. As you can see, successful concepts are always copied and this is what we are now seeing.

‘BMW has learnt many lessons from history. We are very experienced when it comes to premium products, but we didn’t do too well when we bought Rover.

‘It was always our intention to make Mini premium, and it completed BMW’s premium portfolio which also includes, of course, Rolls-Royce.’

Read the full interview in Issue 39 of Car Dealer Magazine – out in May.

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James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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