"The MINI brand is an important pillar of our premium brand strategy and we are continuing with our investments. I can hereby confirm that we will be expanding the MINI product range by a four-seater cabrio with the aim of gaining new customers in the open-top small car segment. The MINI Cabrio will become another highlight in the success story of the MINI brand," is how Dr. Panke explained the decision. The precise date when the MINI Cabrio will become available to customers has not been fixed yet.
In the current year the focus is on the market introduction of the MINI One D. "With the MINI One D we are expanding the MINI model range in Europe. It is the first MINI with a diesel engine ever. We will make MINI even more attractive with this variant for the European markets, " stated Dr. Panke in his speech.
The decision to expand the MINI family comes at a time in which the sales figures confirm the brand's continued success. With more than 144,000 MINI automobiles sold last year, sales exceeded expectations by about 40 per cent, continued Dr. Panke. In March of this year the 200,000th MINI was sold since market launch.
The strongest MINI market still is the 'home market' in Great Britain. In the first four months of this year more than 15,300 models were sold there. After the US with approximately 11,300 MINI models sold by the end of April, Germany remains the third-largest market with almost 9,300 units sold in the same period of time. This means that MINI was able to increase sales by a third in Germany compared to the first four months of the last year.Published 15 May 2003