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MINI Cooper, Hatchback
Nov 16, 2001 (11:11 am)
BMW is going to lose some sales if they don't get this figured out. I can see why a BMW dealer that got passed over for a Mini Franchise wouldn't be too interested in servicing a Mini. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'll give the manager of my BMW dealer a call and ask him what's going on - I should be able to get a straight answer from him.
I'm still on the list for a Mini Cooper S - but got the itch for a new autocross car. I narrowed it down to a base Mercedes C230k and the GTI 1.8t - I just leased a 2002 GTI 1.8t with luxury package and 17" wheels in Reflex silver. VW has killer incentives on the GTI right now, could not pass up the deal I got. I even had them throw in the VW Eibach sport springs to tighten up the suspension.
#187 of 2671 What's for BMW to figure out
Nov 18, 2001 (2:34 pm)
BMW is only planning on selling 20,000 Minis per year - 10,000 the first partial year - to start. They are also requiring dealers to have separate Mini-only showroom with Mini-only sales staff. Now if you're only selling 20,000 cars per year, and you want showrooms to be supported by sales of Minis only, you have to severely restrict the number of showrooms. Similarly, if you want to have a critical mass of knowledgeable mechanics on th Mini, you're going to have to restrict the number of BMW dealers who do warranty work (except for emergencies).
Realizing this BMW has limited the number of dealers. I'm sure they realize this is going to cost them sales in underserved (or unserved) areas, but with such a small number of cars to sell, this probably won't be a problem. From earlier posters, it seems that dealers think they will be able to sell all they can get, maybe even at a hefty premium to MSRP. Whether or not this will be the case, I think BMW is doing the right thing.
First it has to establish a Mini reputation in the US. This includes sales and service as well as quality of product. (The initial problem might be avoiding a reputation for price gouging - though Honda dealers survived the reputation they developed in the early eighties for price gouging, without much long term damage.) Then it can start expanding geographically and in number of sales.
It might mean some people that really would like a Mini have to settle for something else initially - and there are other good choices for small, fun-to-drive, cars out there right now. When Mni eventually does get to these people - assuming success in establishing the brand name - they'll probably have more choices [I'd like to see a Cooper S Estate] and won't be paying the new model mania premium.
#188 of 2671 Hi Folks- This discussion is now linked
Nov 19, 2001 (10:08 am)
from the Hatchbacks board over to the Coupes, Convertibles, and Sports Cars board. That means it will reside on both message boards. Hope you enjoy discussing this subject with participants from both of these boards. Happy Motoring!
Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
Nov 21, 2001 (6:17 am)
Does anyone know whether the Mini will have old style (traditional welded) rain gutters, no gutters, or something else?
Nov 21, 2001 (11:40 am)
That is not the point. Limiting the dealers who sell is one thing, but limiting where you can go for warranty work is another. A great deal of warranty work is something that any mechanic can do. That mechanic does not have to have any kind of special knowledge of the Mini. Rattles, loose moulding, etc, can be taken care of by a BMW mechanic just as well as a Mini mechanic. Of course, so can many major things. An engine is an engine. A transmission is a transmission. A 12-volt electrical system is .... you get the point. I've managed to work on every single one of the cars I have owned with no special training other than my experience with cars and trucks in general.
Are there certain things that could arise that would require the mechanic to know Minis specifically in order to diagnose and fix it properly? I'm sure there are, but those would be the rare cases that could then be dealt with by a Mini dealer if need be. But there is NO reason why BMW should restrict ALL warranty work to dealers who actually sell the minis. Yet, they plan on doing just that. THAT is where the problem is.
#192 of 2671 Dealer maintenance
Nov 22, 2001 (7:50 pm)
Wasn't the Mini designed to be compatible with existing BMW diagnostic equipment? That's something I've seen mentioned in several sources, and thus I'd think that any BMW dealer would be capable of managing warranty work, if perhaps not as quickly as a dealer whose mechanics are familiar with them and whose stock of
parts (sorry, Sir Alec) spares includes items for the Mini.
Nov 23, 2001 (3:58 am)
It is supposedly more of a legal/financial issue rather than a technical issue. MINI dealers are being asked to make a substantial financial comittment (separate showroom, sales staff, service staff, etc.) in order to sell MINI, so they want to know they'll have the "lock" on parts and service. The BMW E46 electrical harness is supposedly nearly identical to the MINI harness, so you'd think diagnostic work would be a snap, but so far, I've been told Bimmer service departments will not perform MINI service.
Nov 23, 2001 (6:52 am)
I finally talked to the general manager of my BMW dealer and he confirms that BMW dealers will not perform service on the Mini.
After considering my options and the primary purpose of this vehicle for me - which is a weekend autocrosser/ track car/ occaisonal commuter car - I've decided to go with a 2002 VW GTI 1.8t with 180 hp. I picked up my reflex silver/ black cloth GTI with luxury package (sunroof, monsoon sound) and 17" wheel package 4 days ago. I put a lot of thought into this purchase, major factors for me were the ease and cost to upgrade the GTI, initial cost (got a killer deal) and warranty. VW's have an amazing level of support in the aftermarket. I had the dealer throw in the Eibach sport springs to firm up the suspension and ordered a few goodies from Neuspeed to further enhance the handling and take the 180 hp 1.8t to 220 hp with a few simple and inexpensive engine upgrades. I have a serious weak spot for VW's and BMW's, we also have a 2001 X5 3.0 that is fantastic.
The only other vehicle that I seriously considered was a stripped Mercedes C230k but initial cost and the price of upgrades took it out of the running. I'll have a little under $22k in the GTI when I'm done with the upgrades, the C230k would have been nearer $30k after upgrades.
One last thing I liked about the GTI is the incredable quality of the fit and finish (easily up to BMW standards) and all the room it has, very roomy for a little hatchback.
#195 of 2671 Hi Folks- Mini Cooper S Video
Nov 26, 2001 (8:15 pm)
You'll now find a direct link to Edmunds' new Mini Cooper S video clip, in the Additional Resources box, on the left side of the page. Happy motoring!
Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards