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MINI Cooper

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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,282
    That is not the point. Limiting the dealers who sell is one thing, but limiting where you can go for warranty work is another. A great deal of warranty work is something that any mechanic can do. That mechanic does not have to have any kind of special knowledge of the Mini. Rattles, loose moulding, etc, can be taken care of by a BMW mechanic just as well as a Mini mechanic. Of course, so can many major things. An engine is an engine. A transmission is a transmission. A 12-volt electrical system is .... you get the point. I've managed to work on every single one of the cars I have owned with no special training other than my experience with cars and trucks in general.

    Are there certain things that could arise that would require the mechanic to know Minis specifically in order to diagnose and fix it properly? I'm sure there are, but those would be the rare cases that could then be dealt with by a Mini dealer if need be. But there is NO reason why BMW should restrict ALL warranty work to dealers who actually sell the minis. Yet, they plan on doing just that. THAT is where the problem is.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • mdmetzmdmetz Posts: 27
    Wasn't the Mini designed to be compatible with existing BMW diagnostic equipment? That's something I've seen mentioned in several sources, and thus I'd think that any BMW dealer would be capable of managing warranty work, if perhaps not as quickly as a dealer whose mechanics are familiar with them and whose stock of parts (sorry, Sir Alec) spares includes items for the Mini.
  • It is supposedly more of a legal/financial issue rather than a technical issue. MINI dealers are being asked to make a substantial financial comittment (separate showroom, sales staff, service staff, etc.) in order to sell MINI, so they want to know they'll have the "lock" on parts and service. The BMW E46 electrical harness is supposedly nearly identical to the MINI harness, so you'd think diagnostic work would be a snap, but so far, I've been told Bimmer service departments will not perform MINI service.
  • I finally talked to the general manager of my BMW dealer and he confirms that BMW dealers will not perform service on the Mini.

    After considering my options and the primary purpose of this vehicle for me - which is a weekend autocrosser/ track car/ occaisonal commuter car - I've decided to go with a 2002 VW GTI 1.8t with 180 hp. I picked up my reflex silver/ black cloth GTI with luxury package (sunroof, monsoon sound) and 17" wheel package 4 days ago. I put a lot of thought into this purchase, major factors for me were the ease and cost to upgrade the GTI, initial cost (got a killer deal) and warranty. VW's have an amazing level of support in the aftermarket. I had the dealer throw in the Eibach sport springs to firm up the suspension and ordered a few goodies from Neuspeed to further enhance the handling and take the 180 hp 1.8t to 220 hp with a few simple and inexpensive engine upgrades. I have a serious weak spot for VW's and BMW's, we also have a 2001 X5 3.0 that is fantastic.
    The only other vehicle that I seriously considered was a stripped Mercedes C230k but initial cost and the price of upgrades took it out of the running. I'll have a little under $22k in the GTI when I'm done with the upgrades, the C230k would have been nearer $30k after upgrades.
    One last thing I liked about the GTI is the incredable quality of the fit and finish (easily up to BMW standards) and all the room it has, very roomy for a little hatchback.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    You'll now find a direct link to Edmunds' new Mini Cooper S video clip, in the Additional Resources box, on the left side of the page. Happy motoring!

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,282
    really not too much on the S in particular. Didn't even see any shots of the S in that video, as a matter of fact.

    I just want to hear it and see it in motion finally.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • I agree that the local BMW dealer could probably do 90% of the warranty work- for that matter, the local Sears Auto center could probably do 75%. It's the other 10% that's going to ruin their reputation. I think you underestimate the extent the expense of running a factory authorized service center. There's expensive training of the mechanics. Manuals and service bulletins have to be kept up to date. Parts have to be stocked. These things only make sense if you have enough business to pay for it. Even if a BMW dealer felt it was worth the investment, he would be helping to pull the rug out from under the Mini dealer - you don't think dealerships survive on their sales profits, do you.

    From the customer's point of view, will customers go for the idea of taking their car to the BMW dealer, leaving it for a day only to be told they have to take it to the Mini dealer after the problem is diagnosed. Will they like being told they'll have to wait two days for a part that any medium volume dealer would keep in stock?

    Most importantly to me is knowing the mechanic is used to working on cars like mine, and works with others who have worked on cars like mine, and that I get the benefit of their collective experience, including their mistakes. I've had experience with hard to diagnose problem being solved after several visits because the problem is passed on to a mechanic whose seen it before on my model. I've also had dealers make a mess of my car while working on trim problems because they didn't follow correct procedures. (I know this one doesn't sound like an argument for trained dealers, but I have to believe this would happen more often if they didn't even know the procedures.)

    I still think Mini/BMW is doing the right thing for their long term reputation and profits.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,282
    OH, I don't underestimate anything. I fully understand and know what you are talking about. But, its really not going to make a difference to the buyer. One of 2 things will happen. Either a potential buyer is going to pass on the car because they can't conveniently have it serviced or they will buy the car and never make the trip back to that dealer unless something covered under warranty and very expensive happens to the car. Either way, that Mini dealer is losing out on business. If any BMW dealer would be allowed to do a limited amount of warranty work, then at least that would be helping out the dealer network in general. I don't think it would be stealing work away from the specialized Mini dealer because Joe Schmoe isn't going to drive his car 100 miles to have a blown fuse replaced anyway. That's how I see it.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Since Mini dealers are limited to large urban areas, BMW must think the Mini target market will use the it for an urban commuter and not stray far from the dealer.
  • I will be vacationing in London and Manchester in January. My name is on a long waiting list here in US. I would like to drive one if possible. It will help me decide how hard I want to pursue have some fun along the way.

    Any help would be great!
  • you gotta be kidding! i live in houston, and the closest dealership is in new orleans. now, i don't mind driving to the big easy to pick up a car and have some fun in the french quarter, but returning for service is a different issue. i can't believe the 4th largest city in the u.s. won't have minis!
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Well, everything has to be big,Big, BIG in TX and the Mini must be TOO small. As more Minis are available there will be more dealerships in the future.
  • I live in Houston as well, and I cancelled my order with a Memphis dealer after learning that local BMW dealers will not service MINIs or sell parts. There are no dealers planned for TX because of an ongoing lawsuit over the franchise agreement - BMW dealers here have challenged BMW's right to require separate sales and service facilities, and BMW won't back down.
  • Well, yesterday I was doing some Christmas shopping at a local Walmart and went by the toy section to browse the 1/18th scale die-cast cars (I have a small collection ... mostly VW/Porsche stuff) ... and happened to see a green 2002 Mini Cooper and being a fan of small hatchbacks generally, I took a closer look. It was love at first sight! Yeah, I've seen photos of the new Cooper on the Net, but to actually see the form of this beautiful little car in three dimensions ... absolutely stunning ... I can only imagine what the full-size car must look like! Needless to say, the little green "mini" Mini is now sitting on my bookshelf (next to a silver PT Cruiser). No word around here (Eastern Canada) if any dealerships will be selling the Mini in the New Year ... besides, I'm only 1 year into a 4 year lease on a Hyundai Accent and the Mini would probably be outside of my budget ... too bad ...
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    I just got my new Grassroot Motorsports yesterday. There's a front-page article on the new mini, comparing it to the old one. I haven't read it yet, but thought I'd let you people know.
    Rick - I think that you made a good choice. I've had my c230 since Sept. (couldn't wait on a Mini - crx has too much rust already), and while I love it, I don't think that it would make a good weekend autocross car. Too much heft to be tossable. And you're right after the aftermarket - I'd need a second loan for the pulley kits that are offered.

    Is BMW still saying March delivery for both the base and S versions? That was another reason for why I pulled my deposit - just didn't trust that date for delivery.
  • I stopped by my BMW dealer the other day and talked to the guy that's going to be a Mini specialist. They expect to open the Mini dealer in March and expect the S to be available shortly after. He said we may not be able to order the Mini the way we want - BMW may send the dealers fully optioned cars - especially the S. He said since I'm so low on the list (17) I should get my S a couple of months after they open. He said I'll be able to take my pick of all the S Mini's that hit the dealership when my name comes up. They may mark them up by 10% above MSRP since they have a waiting list for their whole first year allocation. I've been assured by the GM of this dealership that they'll sell me my Mini at MSRP since I'm customer of theirs and I'm in the first 20 list. I put a $1K deposit almost a year ago, they are not asking for deposits anymore. I plan to sell my Mini S at a good profit as soon as I get it, I think that $1k may turn into $5k to $10k if Mini Mania hits the U.S. the way I think it will.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,282
    you're buying it to sell it? Was that your intent all along?

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • While it surely is your perogitive to buy a Mini and sell it right away for profit ... it just breaks my heart that you'd do that ... I would just die to own a New Mini, but I'll probably never be able to justify the cost, especially with dealer (and re-sellers) marking them up ... just like what happened to the New Beetles when they first came out ...
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,541
    I know the mini is going to be a great car, but if you can keep your pants on and wait a year or so until Mini-Mania dies down. The markups won't last forever. Take a look at cars that have been "marked up" for limited availability in the last few years.

    Prowler (Big Joke)
    PT Cruiser (I've heard ads on the radio touting increased production)
    New Beetle (Although MSRP + will be expected for the convertible)
    C5 Corvette (MSRP + $10,000 when they first came out)
    Honda S2000 (MSRP + $7 0r $8,000 and now they're going for under sticker)
    Audi TT (Can be had for under Sticker now)
    ML 320 (Going for MSRP + $10- $15,000, now the dealers can't give them away)

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • Perry - I understand where you're comming from - I've been there. I'm a total car nut, I have serious weaknesses for BMW's VW's, Land Rovers and Porsches. My current cars are 2000 M Coupe, 2001 X5 3.0, 2002 GTI 1.8t modified for autocross. I know I will eventually replace the GTI with a Mini Cooper S - when all the hoopla dies down, and as nycarguy so eloquantly points out, it will die down. I've made a profit on the sale of the current "hot" vehicle more than once, it subsidizes my car addiction, I hope to make $10k+ on the sale of one of the first Mini Cooper S' to hit the U.S.. I've been on the waiting list for over a year now. I'm already on the list for my second one.
    I jumped on the list for the ML (#3) New Beetle (twice) M5 (twice) 2001 M3 coupe (#9) 2001 M3 convertable and 2002 M3 SMG. I use two different BMW dealers in different states.

    I find it entertaining to make a few bucks on the next hot thing. You have to develop a solid relationship with a local dealer to be able to do this. Some let you sell your place in line, others make you buy the car to resell it.

    I'm looking forward to driving the Mini S for a couple of days before I give it up to a loving home.

    I don't always go on a waiting list with the intention of making a profit, it just turns out that the vehicles I've jumped on a waiting list for turned out to be hot, so I sell them (or my place in line) for a profit. I was planning to keep the Mini until it became obvious it was going to be hot. Instead of waiting to own one I went out and bought the GTI and plan to unload the first (and maybe second) Mini Cooper S.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,541
    I was just breakin' B@&%S. If you've got the capital to sell cars at a profit, then more power to you.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,282
    I WANT to be mad at people like rickrover who take advantage of a situation and actually degrade the whole automotive industry and make true enthusiasts hate it more and more. Just like I WANT to be mad at those 40-year-old men who have nothing better to do than wait outside a toy store for several hours before it opens for a chance to scoop up every last copy of the latest toy (meanwhile taking it out of the hands of a child who ACTUALLY wants to play with it) in order to turn around and make a profit on Ebay. However, I just can't get mad about it. Fact is that its the stupid people who pay the markup that makes greedy people WANT to do these things. If there wasn't a market for it, then it wouldn't happen. But, alas, there IS a market and therefore someone will take advantage of it. Just human nature I guess. Frankly, I'm almost envious of people who do that. I just can't bring myself to make poor suckers pay more than they should for something. If I could, I'd be a man with more money.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,282
    ya know, you don't really need capital to do it. OK, so he gave $1000. That's not a lot. As long as you have good credit and they'll give you a loan on your 4th or 5th car, then you would have it sold before you even have to make your first payment. It doesn't take capital, just nerve.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • I never planned on making a profit by getting my name on a waiting list, it started with that ML. I jumped on the waiting list in Colorado, just happened to be in the dealer getting a car serviced the day they started the list, put a $500 refundable deposit down. I had a really old Range Rover at the time that I was thinking of replacing and thought what the heck, if I like the ML I'll be one of the first ones to get one, if not I get my $500 back. A few months later I get a call from a guy in Aspen that wants my place in line and offered me $8k to get my place - SOLD! Who in their right mind wouldn't have? As it turns out the first time I actually saw and sat in an ML I thought it was a piece of garbage (still do). Around that time the New Beetle was comming out and I did the same thing - not thinking of selling it, got on the list, I was 26 or 27 and got one of the first ones. Total hyped up demand when it arrived, sold it at a $5k profit without a problem. The second one I made about $3k on after driving it for 6 months. The M5 was the same deal - $1k deposit, got one of the first ones (Le Mans Blue)and sold it the day I got it for an obcene profit, the second one I thought I was going to keep but again someone really wanted that car - Imola Red with matching two tone Imola Red interior - that one was hard to give up (but I got over it). I picked up my slightly used (3k miles) Estoril blue M Coupe that day. About that time the waiting list started for the new M3, same thing all over again, total hyped up demand when my Laguna Seca Blue M3 coupe arrived. I plan to sell the M Coupe and keep the Laguna Seca Blue M3 SMG coupe that should be here in a couple of months, I don't care what it's worth. I will own a Mini Cooper S for keeps and get rid of the GTI - in a couple of years.
    The M3 SMG is a keeper, I'll drive the X5 until the wheels fall off (like my old Range Rover with 170k miles)the X is a fantastic vehicle.

    I REALLY like my 2002 GTI 1.8t, I put a little over $1k in engine/ suspension upgrades. It's got 225HP and an extremely nice suspension under it now. It will be interesting to see how the Mini S compares.
  • I'm in Germany this week and saw a new MINI. The interior is hot. However, it looks like there is no legroom in the backseat. Your kids may get their knees squashed. There also is very little in terms of a trunk, I mean, boot. You'll have to rotate the backseats just to transport 2 bags of groceries. My Honda Civic hatchback has more room.

    I still want one - I just have to make more friends with people who own larger cars.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    With no rear (based on the above post) how safe will this car be in rear-end collisions. I know there are a few other baby cars fully capable of getting squashed on the road, but at least the Miata has a trunk...?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,282
    Well, you have to consider how much is between you and the car colliding with you in a side impact. I mean, with the right construction, that small rear area should be just as good and even better at protecting you in a rear collision than if you got hit in the driver's door.

    I guess something of a concern should be if you had people in the backseat and that back window is close enough that their heads whip back THROUGH that window. OK, I could see that as a problem. Side impact airbags keep that from happening in a side impact.

    SMchale - was it SO small that what I suggested could happen to the rear occupants?

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • Has anyone on this board actually driven a new Mini that has an old one? Or conversely is there anyone who owns an old Mini that is waiting to or has placed an order for a new Mini?

    Just curious to see how the market in the US is reacting to new Mini; in so far as whether the sales of them can be traced to Mini enthusiasts or just enthusiasts.

    --rich
  • smchalesmchale Posts: 16
    qbrozen: I'm not an engineer, but you do have a point. The clearance between the hatchback door and the backseat is minimal.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,282
    My wife gave me a die-cast 1:18 new Mini for Xmas. The first thing I did was take a look at the rear seat and how close it is to that back window. I would have to say that it looks like it should be a concern for folks who may be carrying rear passengers. Of course, I AM looking at a model, but still something to take note of if buying.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

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