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News of October 23, 2002


MINI Establishes Premium Standard in the Small Car Segment

Worldwide market success confirms BMW Group's strategy

Munich, Germany - A good year after the market launch of the new MINI by the BMW Group one thing is certain: It was a great success. Almost 105,000 MINI brand vehicles were sold in the first nine months of the current year alone. This means that the originally planned annual sales target of 100,000 units has been passed after just nine months. Dr. Michael Ganal, Member of the Board of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing, stated at a press conference in Munich: "MINI is the first small car to be successful in all triad markets. That is to say: With MINI, we have not only created the premium small car segment and been the first to occupy this segment - we have also created the first global small car."

At the moment, the MINI is sold by over 1,400 dealers in around 60 markets worldwide. The most important market in the first nine months was the United Kingdom, with 26,000 units, followed by Germany with 17,250 MINIs sold. These were followed in third place by the USA, with 15,800 units, where the MINI has only been available since March this year. This car, which is the smallest passenger car available anywhere in the US market, has vitalised the small car segment there.

The BMW Group's aim is to anchor the MINI brand on a lasting basis as a vital pillar of its growth and expansion strategy. Growth means improving still further in markets that are already covered. Expansion means entering new segments with new products or conquering new markets with the existing product portfolio. On this basis, the company is successfully expanding into the small car segment with the MINI brand - with a product range which will be supplemented next year by a diesel variant and which is to be expanded later into a product family.

A further goal for the MINI - to broaden the BMW Group's customer base and to acquire at least 50% completely new customers - has been exceeded since the market launch. The MINI has opened up new, young purchaser groups. The ratio of male and female customers is evenly balanced.

After an extraordinarily successful start phase, the aim of the BMW Group is to consolidate and further expand the success of the MINI. On the route to achieving this objective, the company is supported by two market trends. Firstly, the small car segment as a whole is set to grow by approx. 50% over the next 10-12 years from 8.4 million units sold in 2001. And secondly, the market for premium products is growing far faster than the overall market. In the small car segment in particular, the number of customers who are unwilling to compromise on safety, quality and driving performance is increasing at an above-average rate. The same applies when it comes to the trend towards individualisation of cars.

This development is also underpinned by the current model mix in MINI sales. In the first nine months of the current year, 57% of sales were recorded by the higher-grade MINI Cooper and 28% by the MINI One. 15% of customers went for the top-of-the-range model, the MINI Cooper S. In September, this move towards the higher class models became even clearer: Of the 16,800 MINI cars sold, 20% were MINI One, 50% MINI Cooper and 30% Cooper S.

After the MINI brand, the Rolls-Royce will enlarge the BMW Group's brand portfolio next year. Dr. Michael Ganal had the following to say: "As from 2003, we will be rounding off our product expansion with the Rolls-Royce brand. This means that we are the only manufacturer worldwide to cover all relevant segments of the international automobile market with premium products - with a continuous product range from the small car to the absolute luxury category."

(Oct 18, 2002)

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