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gjm

Possibility of cheaper Minis

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Talking with someone at BMW last week; there is a suggestion that NZ may be seeing sense.

All the Minis that come in at the moment are specced to the hilt. Fancy alloys, aircon, HID lights, leather, ICE, fancy paint... You name it. And the price reflects this.

It seems someone at BMWNZ may have finally had a common sense infusion, and there might be a chance that some base-spec cars could come in.

Steel wheels, halogen lights, cloth seats, no sunroof, flat paint... For (perhaps) $25k? The current cheapest Mini, a 'Cooper' (John will be turning in his grave!) lists at over $35k.

For $25k, it becomes a possibility for so many more people. Introduce a race series for as-near-as-possible to stock cars, and you've got a winner on your hands. As Ford said, what wins on Sunday, sells on Monday. Even if it is a single make series.

Huge opportunity. HUGE.

I'll be waiting for my royalties.

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A race series... hmm after the amount of money the last MINI challenge cost to run I don't think there's much left in the coffers to fund another one, even with stock cars. Unfortunately, the win on Sunday, sell on Monday is no longer true mainly due to the fact that race cars bear little or no resemblence to the cars on the roads. Homologation specials, like the E30 M3, we pretty much the last of that breed.

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4 minutes ago, E30 325i Rag-Top said:

A race series... hmm after the amount of money the last MINI challenge cost to run I don't think there's much left in the coffers to fund another one, even with stock cars. Unfortunately, the win on Sunday, sell on Monday is no longer true mainly due to the fact that race cars bear little or no resemblence to the cars on the roads. Homologation specials, like the E30 M3, we pretty much the last of that breed.

That's why I suggested keeping them as close to stock as possible. MSNZ would probably require a cage, but after that it could be race legislated that no further changes are allowed. Run them on road tyres and standard rims. OK, some very limited changes might be permitted such as brake pads and fluid, but keep everything else absolutely stock.

I think it would work. The MINI challenge was just too much of everything, and appealed only to those people well-enough-heeled to actually be able to go and race in another already established significant series anyway. And those people would expect all the bells and whistles that go with (relatively) big budget manufacturer-sponsored race series. Sell it as a budget series. (Although 'budget' in motor racing is usually a 'how big?' rather than 'how little?' question... ;) )

I really think BMW are missing a trick. The up-spec cars are great, sure, but there's an entire market that is being missed. Manufacturers really need to get back to the roots of car buying rather than fill ever-changing designs with more and more technology, flash trim and fancy gadgets. Besides, start with a base-spec car and you can always up-sell the alloys and so on. Probably a lot more profit to be made that way, too.

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Good idea for a "grass roots" type series, but with the very crowded market place currently it would be extremely hard to get any sort of exposure and profile for such a series. Ssangg Yyong have thrown everything they have including the kitchen sink, into their ute racing series and despite managing to buy their way into some premier events the level of exposure, I would say, is well down on what you would expect from that sort of marketing budget.

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The same suggestion could be levelled at most other manufacturers of sports (or just sporty) cars, of course.

However, that would only be to support the sale of entry level, base-spec cars. And that is something that I think would work so well for Mini. Bring the cool car back to the market (even if it is twice the size of the original!) 

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I'd have to agree with Graham a bit here, I think a budget mini series would easily outstrip the Ssanyyongggssss because people know what a Mini is, and what it stands for. And underneath it's a BMW as well ;)

Not like those weird Korean utes that nobody quite fully trusts yet...

 

And at $25k + cage it's not that far off E30 prices, which can only go up as parts supply goes down :(

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So what you're saying is that a despec'd mini would appeal to the same people as buy Fiat 500s? 

There is some sense in that, car ownership is not what it once was for younger people. 

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