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European MINI dealers are being asked to distinguish their stores from the BMW brand by creating a separate showroom for sell the British/Bavarian small-car. This entails new main entrances, and dedicated reception and service desks. While most of the dealers in the United States currently operate in this manner, most European retailers still share space with BMW. If dealers don't move enough volume to justify the investment, they will be dropped. In 2007, there were about 750 MINI retailers in Europe. That number is expected to fall to about 650 by the end of this year (worldwide, MINI has about 1,500 dealers in 70 countries). Unlike nearly all other automakers who are experiencing a sales slump, MINI's global sales are reportedly up more than 12 percent for the first nine months of 2008 -- no doubt credited to their diminutive size and fuel efficient engines.

[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Last month i read an article in one of the mags (forgot which one, but it was either MT, CD or RT).
      Article stated that Mini dealers in the USA are spread out too far and warranty issues are nightmare for owners, some people having to drive hours to get their car worked on.
      According to the same article, mini's are also prone to alot of problems.
      Me personally, i would prefer to have the them combined with bmw dealers for repair reasons.
      With that said, i would never drive one of these anyway.
        • 6 Years Ago
        There's a difference between recalls and problems. Just because there are no recalls doesn't mean there aren't problems and just because there are recalls doesn't make a car prone to problems. All you can do is take a look at the tracked data and judge from that. The 2008 JD Power VDS ranks Mini at 233 problems per 100 vehicles which is well below average. That doesn't make the Mini a piece of junk but it does place it close to Chevrolet and below Chrysler and Dodge.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Look fella's, i didn't write the article, all i did was read it and reference it here.
        While i agree, i would not buy a car from a place that had no dealers local, it would seem unsuspecting purchasers of used mini would have the most problems, if they don't realize that there is not good dealer support in all areas. IMO a mini is not exclusive enough to have to drive far to a dealer.

        Doesn't really matter, i wouldn't be caught dead in one anyway.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I would not say that they are 'prone' to problems, nor are warranty issues 'nightmares'. I've only had 1 recall on my 1st year MCS (it was making flowers sad with extra pollution). As far as repairs go, it's been no worse that I would expect for a 1st year car, and the quibbles that I had taken care of had been fixed/improved soon after. Also, you can get almost anything covered if you ask. I had everything from the seats replaced (cracking), to the airbag being replaced (the logo on the steering wheel had what looked like a little bit of aluminum 'rust' on it, so they replaced the entire unit). Heck, even wiperblades and brake pads are covered. If you drove 2 hours to the closest dealership to buy a car, you should realize that you'll have to drive 2 hours to get service as well. I'm not sure why that would be a stretch of the imagination.

        My MINI dealership is side by side with a BMW dealership, and the garage area is shared (but HUGE). I'd rather have a stand alone, because then I know for sure that it's a dedicated MINI staff, and not a part-time MINI mechanic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        While MINI dealerships are definitely spread more thin than companies such as Toyota/Chevy/Ford and even more thin than premium cars such as Porsche and Jaguar, it really isn't that bad. Within 200 miles of me are 3 MINI dealerships, and I don't exactly live in a very developed region.

        My MINI is a late 02' with close to 85k miles, and there has never been a single mechanical issue with it....not one. I was treated great with no questions asked whenever I had a warranty request; one example is once a tail-light was fogging up but wasn't fogged up when I took it in, yet they replaced it no problem. They've even done things for me under warranty after my warranty expired.

        Anyway, it's the best car I've ever owned....even better than my last car, which was an all-mighty Toyota.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seeing how sales are down in the UK (due to increased competition in the premium small car market), this does not surprise me as one bit. BMW likes to keep the brand identity separate, as not everyone likes BMW. That, and it sounds like a nice way to close down some dealerships.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a good move, since some people won't be caught dead venturing into a BMW dealership.