Woofcast #444

Paceman and ’13 Countyman details take up most of our time tonight. So much that we had to skip AskChad this week. We are curious about your thoughts on many things, so sound off in the comments!

**Reminder:** November 8th is the 2nd Thursday, that means White Roof Radio will be live starting at 9:00p CST. Join us!

Woofcast 444:

Download | WRR @ iTunes | 28.4MB |1:00| Show Notes

4 replies on “Woofcast #444”

  1. Wow, That discussion on the brand was so on target. The execs at MINI/BMW really need to hear that message. They should have meetings just about this podcast. Great work.

    Chasing market share is a race to the bottom. Good Dealerships do matter, to this day the only dealership I actually want to visit is the MINI dealer and they are the only ones I actually feel ok giving my contact info to.

    The MINI absolutely made me an enthusiast. I was absolutely in the market for an appliance when I bought my first brand new car and I never cared to maintain the old jalopies that I previously owned. What Todd said could not be any more true to my experience. I want to keep my car and have maintained it accordingly.
    I have owned my car for 10yrs. I have sold 3 cars to people that I know and recomended it to everyone who asked about it. I will never know how many people whom I only met one time actually bought a MINI but at least a hundred people have heard from me not just how I loved the car but the entire ownership experience.

  2. Agreed — interesting discussion.

    As a 10 1/2 year participant in the MINI experiment, we have been far from the ideal MINI buyers — only 1 brand new MINI in 10 1/2 years (April 2002). Our other MINIs were pre-owned private sale, and a dealer loaner new/used sale (January 2012). So MINI ain’t padding the bottom line based on our purchase history.

    However, we have ‘sold’ untold MINIs over that time, actively taking on that ‘second sales force’ role that was mentioned in the show. We have lost count of the dozens and dozens of people/strangers we have talked to in 10+ years asking about our car. We know of at least 3 MINIs for sure we have ‘sold’, and who knows how many others.

    My wife was even interviewed and photographed (color photo!) with her MINI in August 2002 by the Des Moines Register. Why? Simply because she owned one of those crazy new MINI Coopers.

    That unique identity is crucial for MINI in my opinion. But disappearing according to Scott27/Herr26. “More practical MINIs are on the way” he says.


  3. I’m late to this party, but wanted to respond. I’m not yet a MINI owner, so this is a semi-outsider perspective.

    Related to all the issues of homogenization of the brand, compromising the personality, the so-called “dumbing down”: doesn’t all of this simply point to BWM wanting to milk the MINI brand as much as possible?

    Perhaps the acquisition was akin to a hobby, and now the pressure is on to justify it. I’m guessing MINI is profitable, but it could always be more profitable. Addressing IQS numbers, reducing perceived friction points in the sales process, and reducing the learning curve for buyers seem to all point in that direction: they simply want to sell more. I don’t think BMW would see it as “chasing a customer they didn’t need before”. I think they see it as chasing a customer, period.

    On the point of customization, and when will it be scaled back: I just watched the documentary about manufacturing the Coupe, and they went over how the options and colors for each vehicle are queued up automatically as the car comes down the line. With MINI taking over more manufacturing facilities, I wonder which is easier to sustain: lots of different models, or lots of different options for those models? Without knowing more about the process, it’s hard to know if fewer options would speed up the production line.

    Lastly, Todd underestimates the mini-ness of the MINI! Here are specs for the Yaris, Fit, and Cooper:

    Yaris length: 153.5″
    Fit length: 161.6″
    Cooper length: 146.6″
    Yaris wheelbase: 98.8″
    Fit wheelbase: 98.4″
    Cooper wheelbase: 97.1″

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