BMW puts the brakes on Mini production as sales of new cars plummet

Discussion in 'Other Manufacturers' started by xcel, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    In the US, it is one of the few brands whose sales are accelerating. In Europe, it is hitting the skids.

    [xfloat=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2009_Mini_Cooper.jpg[/xfloat]Christine Buckley – UK Times – Nov. 7, 2008

    2009 Mini Cooper w/ a stick – 32 mpgUS combined.

    The US recession is showing signs of spreading into Europe quickly :( -- Ed.

    BMW, manufacturer of the Mini, announced plans yesterday to close its Oxford factory for four weeks to cut production as sales fall. Last month in Britain, sales of the Mini plunged 40 per cent against a general market fall of 23 per cent.

    Until now the Mini has escaped much of the real pain in global car markets. In the US, motorists have traded down from large SUVs to the compact car.

    In four weeks’ time, however, the gates at BMW’s Oxford plant, which is more famous under its old Rover name of Cowley, and a pressing plant in Swindon will close until after the new year.

    Workers will not lose any money during the closure except for shift premiums because of a system of working in which they can be asked to stand down during lean periods and work extra during busy ones – so-called timebanking… [rm]http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/industrials/article5101933.ece[/rm]
     
  2. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

  3. koreberg

    koreberg Junior Member

    Time banking...Funny how the germans get things closer to correct, but GMs solution is fire the workers, close the plant for good, and lets keep on making what we're making now, except for 3 cars.
     
  4. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    This is one of those cars I'd really like to own -- it would do just fine as a replacement for the Elantra, though at the cost of trunk space.
     
  5. flatty

    flatty Member

    GM has been idling factories for over a year.

    What I don't understand is that a friend just ordered a mini and it won't be available until February, "due to demand". ?
     
  6. I really want a MINI...
     
  7. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    The world market needs to be more in sync, it seems that having too much of a variance between locations create issues that can easily be avoided. If people werent so pigheaded and needed to have everything their way instead of being accepting, then we wouldnt even have this recession, granted this was kickstarted by the price of oil, possibly initiated by the war.
     
  8. voodoo22

    voodoo22 Cheaper than the bus

    There's more space in these cars than people realize. You might be surprised to see they are actually higher than a 3 series and feel like they have more room than most cars inside.

    The only thing which prevented us from considering one when we purchased the Yaris was cost. Initial cost and maintenance. For FE, I wouldn't be surprised if you could get mid to high 60's on a full tank in a MT Mini under the right conditions.

    There are better cars, but I've yet to drive a car which was more fun to drive.
     
  9. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I've had the pleasure of inspecting one up close in our work lot when it parked next to my Insight. My car was a tad shorter but also a little longer. The Mini didn't have much in way of storage behind the back seat, but I usually don't need much anyway. The only thing that would give me pause now is that I'm not sure I could fit a stroller back there... though I'd certainly be willing to try it!!
     
  10. voodoo22

    voodoo22 Cheaper than the bus

    I see an electric Mini in your future!:woot:

    I warn you, if you take a Mini for a test drive you might find your free will being absorbed by the car. It's really fun, even if you're a hypermiler. I say this, because to me, the fun of this car is in it's handling and feel. You don't have to drive fast to appreciate those things.
     
  11. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    An electric Mini would be pretty awesome!

    I'm pretty sure the Mini is worth better mileage than my Elantra so I know I'd get a kick out of it. :)
     
  12. MINIme

    MINIme New Member

    It's coming:

    http://www.miniusa.com/#/learn/minimalism/MINIE-m

    :)

    I work at a MINI dealer and we're definately chomping at the bit to get cars for our customers. I'm a little unsure why they chose to cut production instead of re-routing it to fill the burgeoning U.S. demand. I can only assume they may be trying to preserve profits in the first quarter of next year.
     
  13. Austin Powers

    Austin Powers New Member

    Groovy!! Where's your pal, Dr. Evil. It sounds like a scheme to me.
     
  14. voodoo22

    voodoo22 Cheaper than the bus

    The demand for MINI's might be there now, but I think BMW is worried that long term demand will not be as high as demand for any kind of vehicles is going down.

    It seems to me that BMW & Honda are examples of car companies who are more careful with their resources as to not end up in a bind like we see the big 3 in today.
     
  15. jimepting

    jimepting Well-Known Member


    Welcome MINIme. That's my super intelligent, race driving, Mini owning daughter there. Of course I'm a bit biased :D

    Jim E.
     
  16. paulgraz

    paulgraz Member

    Keep in mind that there aren't alot of MINI dealers, and each MINI dealer gets an allocation - often these dealers are selling their allocation from months in the future - which is why if you order a MINI today you might not see it for months. And the sales figures for MINI still look good now, because they are just now delivering cars ordered months ago.

    The MINI-E is a reality - 500 cars will be leased as a trial - but they priced it out of reach of most people. $850/month on a 1-year lease.

    OR, just BUY an electric MINI from the people who have been selling them for a couple years now:

    http://www.hybridtechnologies.com/

    They "electrify" a MINI for you at an out the door prce of around $60K
     

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