Are You Flashing At Me? 30,000 Join The MINI Gang

Over 30,000 new MINIs have taken to UK roads since its launch in July 2001. To celebrate, MINI is offering every proud owner some advice on MINI etiquette and the opportunity to share their adventures on a new MINI website.

British MINI owners are receiving a MINI photo album and the Guide to MINI Etiquette as a little thank-you from MINI HQ. Presented in the usual tongue-in-cheek MINI style, the etiquette guide tries to demystify the strange phenomena that owners may be experiencing.

Why are other car drivers flashing at MINI owners or pulling up next to them with cheesy grins at traffic lights? Why are crowds gathering around their car, schoolchildren looking forlornly on out of the back of the school bus or previously unfriendly neighbours knocking on their doors? All is revealed in the Guide to MINI Etiquette.

The MINI photo album is already full of adventures and owners are invited to send images of their own escapades to the new website, www.yourminiadventure.co.uk where the most MINI-like pictures will be displayed. The cheekiest shot of the month will win a MINI prize.

Emma Lowndes, MINI Marketing Manager explained: "MINI equals fun and we’re saying a big thank-you in a fun way to all our customers for their business. There are 30,000 out there now and we hope our photo album makes them feel more part of a gang than a statistic. After all, that’s what owning a MINI is all about."

The fun continued this summer for MINI’s growing fan base who experienced the car in all sorts of weird and wonderful locations around the UK.

Part of Gatwick South’s departure lounge was transformed with a MINI makeover. A comfortable, colourful and relaxing MINI lounge area, with terminals offering free internet access to www.mini.co.uk, was provided for any passengers waiting for their flight. British car parks have also had the MINI treatment as MINI Cooper S has been adding a bit of style to.

Various NCP and Tesco Extra car parks. MINI-owning shoppers have been able to park in spaces livened up with specially commissioned MINI Cooper S wallpaper, soft lighting, deep-pile rugs and paintings.

The notorious Sound System MINI, with enough power to entertain a small nightclub, has been pumping out tunes on the British leg of the Isle of MTV Tour in Bristol and the Big Chill Festival in Herefordshire, where MINI also provided hot showers in the MINI Wet Rooms. Finally, a Union Jack’d MINI went on tour with BBC Breakfast’s weather team as they followed the Commonwealth Games torch around the UK for six weeks, ensuring that even when us Brits stopped talking about the new MINI, we could continue discussing the weather.

New members joining the MINI gang are able to select from a variety of new options and accessories.

A DVD system becomes available in October with a combination of screens mounted in the back of the front headrests or in the front passenger’s sun visor. Cordless headphones for DVD watchers maintain peace and quiet for the driver. The DVD unit plays movies, MP3 CDs and audio CDs and costs £2,100 plus fitting.

Security is beefed up as all MINIs now automatically lock when the vehicle reaches 9 mph and unlock when the ignition is switched off.

Tinted glass is available on rear windscreen and rear side windows at £100 and an illuminated glovebox now makes up a Storage Compartment Package along with storage nets on the back of the front seats for £50.

The glovebox is added to the Salt, Pepper and Chili packs across the range, meaning that Salt on MINI One now costs £270, Pepper and Chili on Cooper cost £320 and £1,020 respectively and Chili on Cooper S costs £1,370.

MINI Cooper S can also be ordered with Brilliant Silver trim as a no cost option in place of the standard Alloy Patina.

Published 9 September 2002 Melanie Carter

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