AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand. Winning an IVA shows the product planners, engineers and designers of the manufacturer understand what their target customers want and have created the vehicle to best meet their demands.
MINI Dominates Subaru Impreza WRX for IVA Win: The 2012 MINI Cooper comes closest to the ideal of any Premium Compact Car. The MINI dominates the second place Subaru Impreza WRX by 62 rating points to win its class. Having eighty-percent or more of owners rating a characteristic ideal is outstanding. Achieving a score of ninety-percent is even more impressive. Ninety-percent or more of MINI owners rate exterior size, interior lighting, exterior styling and ride and handling ideal. Eighty-percent or more of MINI owners find these additional characteristics ideal: wheels, driver’s seat comfort, power and acceleration, ease of getting in and out and safety features.
A Few Shortfalls – Most are Related to Size and Style, but Infotainment can be Improved. MINI owners chose one of the smallest cars on the market when selecting their car, but 30% want more cargo space and 26% want more passenger roominess. About 33% want more interior storage compartments. About 28% want better driver’s seat visibility than now. About 28% of MINI owner want more infotainment technology in their car.
You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/consumer-s-ideal-cars-revealed-in-2012-iva-awards-112116/
For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact firstname.lastname@example.org and title your email “IVA Results”. A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.
“The MINI Cooper wins AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award for the Image Compact Car class. An Image Compact Car isn’t about pure functionality, but owners of the new MINI clearly value the design excellence of the car,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc. “Mini provides the cute head-turning styling, crisp handling and fun-to-drive power that its owners value highly. Mini clearly understood what their owners wanted when they designed the new Cooper.” Areas in which the MINI Cooper led the segment include:
* Exterior Styling
* Power and Acceleration
* Safety Features
Does Alfa Finally See Their U.S. Dreams Come True?
In another example of automakers looking to partner and share synergies rather than swallow one another whole, Fiat and BMW entered into a memorandum of understanding to evaluation cooperative opportunities. They’ve formally agreed to talk about how, and if, they can help one another.
Alfa Romeo may have the most ego wrapped up into the outcome. Desperate to get back into the U.S. car market, Alfa wants the next-generation of the 147 be the lead volume product. They’ve further announced the intent to start building cars in the States in 2011CY, and have started looking for partners to make that happen as well. Technically they do return this summer with the low-volume 8C Competzione and next year with the convertible 8C, but Alfa’s only building 1000 8Cs, including both bodystyles, for worldwide consumption. With only about 100 8C coupes being offered here, the image-building 8C doesn’t make much of an impact on the market.
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The next time someone calls my Cooper S “cute” I think I’ll commit a felony. While I understand the sentiment, it misses most of what a MINI is.
At the New York Auto Show Jim McDowell, Vice President – Marketing, MINI USA introduced the John Cooper Works MINI to North America with a reminder that MINI has racing in it’s blood, including Monte Carlo Rally wins in 1964, 1965, 1967. John Cooper has been synonymous with the high-performance MINIs for forty years. Earlier this year, MINI acquired John Cooper Works JCW as a sub brand of MINI.
The newly announced MINI Clubman is more than an extension (literally) of the popular MINI Cooper REV 2. First presented to the public at Frankfurt nearly two years ago (as the Shooting Brake Concept), the Clubman incorporates a number of unique and interesting capabilities that may set it apart from the average vehicle in its class.
Overall, the vehicle is the same up front as the basic MINI hatch and remains so to the B-pillar. The large, bug-like headlights, hexagonal radiator grill, and hood design clue you in to the vehicle. From the B-pillar back, things change…
The Clubman’s body is now 9.45 inches longer than the standard MINI Cooper. The wheelbase is 3.15 inches longer. Color choices of the C-Pillar include silver, or black. The rest of the key data are very similar to that found on the standard MINI, except for some really neat new features, including:
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The more things change the more they stay the same. If there was ever a saying the sums up the launch of the brand new Mini, that would be it. Some might joke, “Where’s the new Mini?” while standing right next to it, but it’s important to remember that there is hardly a more difficult task for a automotive design team than creating an entirely new car, that looks the same as the old model.
That was the challenge put before cheif Mini designer Bert Hildebrand. When David Barrett met him for an exclusive interview at the North American Auto Show in Detroit this month, you couldn’t tell that he’d just finished a grueling redesign. In fact, Hildebrand is as cheerful and charming as the car he’s helped recreate. Barrett not only chats Hildebrand up about the new Mini, but gives you a first look at the all new John Cooper Works Mini and the new Mini Sidewalk.
Show Runtime – 13:59
Disclaimer, the author drives a 2004 MINI Cooper S. All commentary from this article should be viewed as suspect, coming from a mindless MINI disciple. Treat all materials henceforth as suspect, and possibly void of objectivity.
Whew! I dodged a bullet! Driving a car with a tendency towards trendiness is hard enough. Driving a vehicle that was
trendy would be unbearable! Fortunately, no one will know the difference.
Penny pinchers who worry that their current MINI may start to depreciate with the launch of the 2008 model have little to worry about. The 2008 MINI looks remarkably similar to the one now on the road. The overall length of the MINI Cooper has been extended by 2.36 inches, while the new MINI Cooper S is 2.4 inches longer. The modest increase in size is due to the MINI’s new, larger engines and new European pedestrian safety rules.
Welcome to VehicleVoice Episode #34
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For the last two weeks, you might have noticed an inordinate number of Minis driving through your town. They were probably traveling in groups, and they were probably loaded with luggage, and snacks and very happy people. Those folks you saw were some of the 7,000 Mini owners taking part in “Mini Takes the States” – a 3,000-mile, two-week, cross-country extravaganza brought to you by the cutest little car in the world.
Mini Marketers are a very clever bunch. Of course, it helps to have as your sole product, one of the most loved brands in the automotive marketplace. But Mini has spent their limited marketing resources on lifting their brand to the height of cool while giving their customers infinite ways to individualize their cars. Hence the saying, “no two Minis are alike.”
The VehicleVoice crew certainly found that to be true at the kickoff party for “Mini Takes the States.” With more than 400 Minis neatly packed into the parking lot at Pirate’s Cove at Monterey Beach in California, the party got underway with limbo contests, good eats, Carribean music, and even Mini Corporate Bigwigs leading the marching band that started this cross country drive. See and hear it all here!
Andrew Cutler, Mini USA Marketing Director
Jim McDowell, Mini’s Vice President of Marketing