It was hard to predict that the MINI brand would experience so much success in the United States when the BMW Group introduced their MINI Cooper Hatchback in 2002.
This was a time where bigger meant better in the automobile world; large, gas guzzling SUVs were in vogue and smaller cars garnered far less attention (ahh…pre-recession America!). However, the MINI Cooper was able to use its unique design and quality manufacturing (it’s a baby BMW!) to distinguish itself from the rest of the competition. Auto enthusiasts were likely familiar with the Minis of old, the same vehicles that gained fame after three wins at the Monte Carlo Rally in the 1960s – an authentic motorsport pedigree added to the MINI allure.
Anyone who had any doubts about owning a MINI need only take the car for a spirited test drive (manual transmission is preferable). It seems that word spread about the MINI, and the fan base grew quickly. One vehicle (the Cooper Hatchback) has grown into a full lineup, now appealing to a broader consumer base than ever before (think Countryman). With strong sales figures and ambitious plans for growth (a goal of 10 vehicle models has been discussed), MINI’s next decade promises to be even more successful than the first.
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