MINI is struggling in North America, and that could force it to sell only electric cars in the region.
Like Daimler’s smart division, BMW’s city car brand is considering going electric-only as one of several possible solutions to improve sales, with MINI CEO Peter Schwarzenbauer revealing to that his team is looking at pushing it “in the direction of the electric mobility company”
Schwarzenbauer believes that adding more SUVs — the proven fix to any sales slump — is not the way to go due to the brand’s image as a small car company.
The company has been in talks with several world automakers on how to electrify smaller cars, including Great Wall Motor. The Chinese automaker has confirmed that it was discussing a partnership with BMW to produce MINI electric vehicles in China.
It will be interesting to see how well Smart’s model will work for Mini. Going electric has so far not provided the “jolt” Smart was hoping for, with buyers expressing little excitement and nearly two-thirds of its American dealer network closing shop after the shift to EVs was announced.
Either way, MINI has already has an electric car on the way for 2019.
MINI Will Soon Be Made In China
BMW, parent company of MINI, is in “advanced discussions” with Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors to build an electric MINI in China.
The Chinese government wants 20% of cars sold to be electric or rechargeable-hybrid vehicles by 2025, spurring a rash of fresh investment from the world’s car makers in the county.
The two companies are still finalizing where to build the car and how much to invest in the project. Great Wall operates factories in an industrial city Baoding and in Tianjin, both of which are in the Beijing area.
MINI’s Oxford, England, factory will also manufacture the electric MINI, with production slated to begin in 2019. It wasn’t revealed when Chinese production will begin.
BMW and Great Wall’s factory will initially build cars exclusively for the local market, but made in China” MINI models could eventually find their way to Europe or North America.
How does that sit with you>
You Can Now Add Personalized 3D-Printed Parts To Your MINI
MINI now lets owners add 3D-printed parts to their cars, having announced a line of 3D-printed parts that can be fully customized to your unique taste.
The aptly-named “MINI Yours Customized” product range includes indicator inlays (called side scuttles), trims for the passenger side of the interior, LED door sills and LED door projectors. Each customized part is manufactured using 3D printing and laser lettering and only take a few weeks to arrive after being ordered.
According to MINI, the parts have been designed so that they can be integrated in the vehicle by the customer or a MINI dealer and can be easily be exchanged for less personal parts if the owner chooses to sell the car in the future.
Unfortunately, not every MINI model is available with the same customized parts. Owners of the MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the MINI Hardtop 4 Door, and the MINI Convertible, for instance, can customize the trim on the passenger side, while the MINI Clubman only gets customizable LED door trims.
Fortunately, not only are you able to make a selection between different colors, patterns, surface finishes and icons when designing the MINI Yours Customized products, but you can also integrate your own texts and signature into the design, which can be modified at any time.
Does MINI Yours Customized make you want a MINI more than you did? Let us know in the comments below.
What Do You Think About MINI’s New Logo?
MINI has a new logo that will adorn its vehicles starting March 2018, replacing the current logo on the hood, trunk, steering wheel, remote control and various other locations on their exterior and interior.
According to MINI, the new logo design is smaller to focus on the essentials. It draws on the three-dimensional style of depiction that has existed since the relaunch of the brand in 2001, preserving the traditional steeped motif of a winged wheel with the brand name printed in capital letters.
The deliberate avoidance of shading and grey tones is said to create a contrasting black-and-white effect that conveys the authenticity and clarity of the new brand identity and allows universal application. Here’s a comparison of the old logo (left) versus the new logo (right):
MINI says the new logo reflects a clear commitment to the tradition of the British brand, which now stretches back almost 60 years.
So, what do you think about the new MINI logo? Is it a hit or miss?