• Aug 25th 2006 at 1:22PM
  • 17
When BMW launched the MINI brand in the U.S., the vast majority of the cars were, naturally, sold and serviced out of BMW dealerships. In fact, only eight of MINI's 80 dealerships are standalone.
The success of the brand in the U.S. shows that this strategy was certainly not an impediment to sales, but when MINI's first appearance in the J.D. Power Customer Service Index in 2005 ranked the brand a lowly 39th, well... Munich, we have a problem.

It turns out MINI owners felt like "second-class citizens" next to their Beemer brethren, so BMW has taken steps to give MINI owners a unique, MINI-branded service experience that includes dedicated MINI service personnel, MINI-branded clothing for service techs, and special service and waiting areas. You can read about one owner's new experience at his Long Beach dealership here.

Even though the changes haven't rippled through the entire dealer network, the results are remarkable: J.D. Power's 2006 Customer Service Index placed MINI 9th, the most improved brand in the survey.

[Source: Autoweek]


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  • 17 Comments
      John Conner
      • 9 Years Ago
      Yep, I know diff between bimmer and beamer, and cannot understand why BMW auto owners still call their cars Beamers. Wonder of wonders, but it is not as disgraceful as referrals to Porsches as p-cars. It may not be prevalent, but is way too often and is disgusting to the pride of most Porsche (Porsch-e) owners. They do not call a BMW as a b-car or a Ferrari an f-car, etc. and, etc. So if readers happen to hear someone refer to a Porsche as a p-car, please pass the word that it is disrespectful.

      Thanks, and we lLOVE Minis, but just do not have space (sic) for one right now! One of these days, tho....
      • 9 Years Ago
      Selling a Mini Cooper next to a 760Li is like selling a 760Li next to a Rolls-Royce Phantom. There's going to be an inferiority complex.

      http://www.automobilesdeluxe.blogspot.com
      • 9 Years Ago
      I believe every word that NathanJones wrote..

      Just wait until you break a windshield.....

      MINI service is the reason I sold my car last week. I will not tolerate poor service.
      • 9 Years Ago
      What ever happened to fixing your own car?

      Also, unless its under warrenty, why would you allow a stealership touch your car?

      There are plenty of good independent shops that can do a better job than most dealerships and there are a lot of repairs you can do yourself without a lot of tools.

      I laugh when I here people taking their cars to the stealership to change a tire and the dealer charging them $300 for a single tire when you can buy the same tire online for $90 and get a referral to a local installer that will usually do the work for $50

      Not all dealerships are bad and not all service people at dealerships are bad but the majority truely do suck and make the good ones look bad.
      • 9 Years Ago
      You would think that the people who run one of the top automotive blogs would know the difference between a Beemer and a Bimmer... The former is slang for a BMW motorcycle while the latter is a BMW automobile. This is like German Car Fan 101 level stuff here, along with not calling a Porsche a Porsh and never mistaking a Mercedes for a sports car, no matter how many badges they put on it.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Rememeber, it's not just the logo on the shirt, it's the attitude of the person. BMW service people are often faulted for being arrogant and if that's the attitude at a particular dealership, changing the shirts won't matter.
      • 9 Years Ago
      BMW service completely sucks, especially off warranty. Alignments are insanely expensive, and one time they broke the tie rod trying to align it. I had to talk to the asshole service manager for an hour to get them to replace it, even though they broke it. The company prides itself on heritage but the dealer service people scoff at anything more than three years old.

      My old 240sx was also rwd with an independent suspension and I could align it anywhere for $99 and every Nissan dealer was respectful and fixed the car correctly. BMW couldn't exist without the volume they get from the 3-series and mini sales so they better put their dealers in line, especially since they've lost the rwd monopoly.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Interesting.

      I took my Mini into the local Mini/BMW dealer for repairs last week. Thursday, to be exact.

      What needed to be done?

      "Inspection Service #1", repair the keyless entry system (the drivers door locked stopped working) & fix a recurrent problem with one of the run-flats...apparently, there is a leak in the seal between the wheel and the tire.

      Yes, my dealer has a seperate service area & waiting room for its Mini camp....its all tucked away on the side of the complex...

      My car wasn't "ready" until Tuesday of this week.

      They did give me a loaner for free (a Jeep Liberty ??), but I thought it strange I had to wait weeks for an appointment only to have it take that long to repair two minor issues and a scheduled maintenance! The service advisor did inform me their were "36 Mini's ahead" of mine, waiting for service.

      So, I go pick it up and discover during the "See the Cashier" process they "forgot" to even complete the "Inspection Service 1" at all....

      "Can you reschedule?" asked the Service Advisor.

      Sure....

      "How's September 14th?" he asked.

      Okay.

      I drive home, pull into the garage and discover the entire middle MINI cap including the little pop out piece is missing from the wheel/tire that was repaired. (I hope!)

      Called the Dealer, reported the missing piece...they were very apologetic and asked me to come back in (halfway across town) and they would replace it.

      Drive back....wait exactly 65 minutes...for them to "fix" it.

      Yes, I'm slightly aggitated...but I will say the Dealer Service Advisor has been extremely apologetic through-out.

      But damn....get your sh*t together Mini!

      • 9 Years Ago
      Yeah the dealer I purchased and take my MINI to have separate service areas for BMW and MINI. But that hasn’t stopped the MINI service from having horrible customer service.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Part of why we got rid of our 2003 MINI was because the dealer service astoundingly bad. Rude, accusatory and totally unable to fix anything the first time paired with 3 week waits for appointments.. not fun. Typically I'd go to pick the car up, get in, drive it to the dealer exit, then have to turn right back to re-drop off the car to try fixing it all over. Beyond nervewracking.

      Sure, some of the problems were designed in, but visiting the dealer 9 times in 13 months (3 times in the first 2 months) didn't make me want to experience this car past its break-in period. Meanwhile, the BMW we took to the same dealer was serviced fast, with instant appointments, terrific service. Yeah- I'd say MINI has a problem..
      • 9 Years Ago
      Mini and BMW: Seperate but equal.

      I though this sort of practice was outlawed a while ago. :)
      • 9 Years Ago
      Not sure what JD Powers survey you a referring to, because the 2006 survey that is on the wall in my office has MINI ranked in the bottom of all cars in the US.
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