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Mini VP McDowell To Retire

Mini VP McDowell To Retire

There has recently been a reshuffle in the organisation of senior staff in the design departments at BMW and Mini.

This reorganisation has spread over to North America where there will be significant changes with a view to improving relations with customers.

A new role has been created for Peter Miles, who will move from his Executive Vice President of Operations Role to become the Vice President of Sales Channel Development and Customer Relations.

This is a multifaceted role where key areas of interaction will be tightly managed with a view to better understanding the needs of potential and existing customers.

Jim McDowell, who has been the Vice President of Mini in the Americas, will retire. Having had great success during an award winning stint with BMW as the Vice President of Marketing since 1993, McDowell had been in charge of Mini Marketing, Sales and Aftersales in the US since 2005.

David Duncan has been promoted to Vice President of Mini of the Americas. He was previously in a role as the Regional Vice President for the Western Region. He has a wide range of expertise due to his involvement in various key areas for BMW and Mini.

Petter Witt has become the Regional Vice President of the Western Region, meaning he will be in charge of servicing and sales for BMW and Mini in that zone. His previous experience came as the Managing Director of BMW Sweden.

In a press release demonstrating these changes, BMW has made it clear that their focus is on ‘improving all phases of the customer journey from prospect to purchase and throughout the ownership life-cycle’ and went on to thank Jim McDowell ‘for his years of exemplary service to the BMW Group’.

BMW i3 vs ELR: battle of the EVs

BMW i3 vs ELR: battle of the EVs

One US writer for Autoblog got to spend time with both BMW’s i3 and Cadillac’s much more expensive ELR recently, and in a head-to-head test the results proved surprising.

The ELR combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with a 16.5kWh lithium ion battery that produces a healthy 295lb/ft of torque and makes the ELR effectively Cadillac’s halo model. It comes with a variety of modes to go from the most efficient set-up to the most sporting and it’s a genuine driver experience that goes some way to justifying its near $80,000 price tag in the US.

BMW’s i3 is a whole new approach. It’s smaller, and the body is produced from a carbon fibre reinforced plastic shell stretched over an aluminium frame. Its 170-hp, 184-lb/ft. motor is powered by a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and there’s an optional range extender for those that need to make longer journeys and are worried how far the batteries will take them.

The end result was a tricky one. The Cadillac is clearly the better driver’s car, but the i3′s price tag, $42,275, swings the balance in its favour. So BMW’s pricing policy is what marks it apart for now, but favourable reviews of the i3 should mean it becomes a regular in the city in coming years as it skirts Congestion Charging, and there are a number of tax incentives for the public to adopt EVs like this one.

New Mini design released by BMW.

In mid-November, BMW unveiled some exciting car news: the details of the company’s brand new Mini, which will first be available in spring 2014. With changes to the exterior, interior, dimensions and features, Mini have certainly put a lot of work into the improvements.

Three models – the Cooper , Cooper S and Cooper D – will be available at launch, all three with new engines and a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the option of a six-speed automatic gearbox available. The Mini is now no longer as mini, with an extra 10cm in length, 4cm in width and 7mm in height when compared with the existing model. Outside, it keeps a lot of the features of the older models, but with more sculpting of the side panels, a side window line that is more tapered and a wider tailgate. Buyers will also be able to choose from five additional paint colours, and will be able to add roof rails as an optional feature for the first time.

New Mini

CO2 emissions have dropped and fuel efficiency has improved for all three models, and the boot space has increased by over 30%, making these cars more practical. Inside, expect new circular dials located behind the steering wheel, with higher spec models featuring “controller” devices to control the entertainment and satnav systems, located on the central console.

There are also plenty of new features available, such as a rear view parking camera and self-parking functionality, while rumour has it that BMW will also be releasing a new five door version and a new, longer estate version of the Mini that will replace the Clubman. Big changes all round from the German manufacturer.


Big Motoring World Pioneers State-of-the-Art Service Centre Offering 24/7 Care

Big Motoring World, the UK’s leading used BMW specialist, has opened a brand-new service centre in Snodland to pioneer a new age in affordable car servicing and customer experience. The state-of-the-art service and MOT test centre will bring down the cost of prestige car servicing by around sixty percent when compared to a main dealer, but without losing any of the quality.

big motoring world snodland

The prestige car dealership’s all-new workshop will be open round-the-clock to offer motorists 24/7 car servicing and MOTs to boost customer experience and rival any car servicing around the UK. The ultra-modern garage, located in Snodland, will feature eleven ramps to increase performance and productivity; as well as offering drastically slashed prices that will match any main dealer’s level of service and be far more cost-effective.

Peter Waddell, Managing Director of Big Motoring World, believes that the stand-alone service centre highlights their “commitment to listening to what customers want and implementing it”.

big motoring world collection

“I’m pleased with the steady growth of the group, and most importantly, the vital feedbacks we’re receiving from our customers; that which is propelling the progressive changes within the Big Motoring World Group,” he continued.

Aaron Parks, General Manager of Big Motoring World, admitted the team “can’t wait to get the service up and running”, saying: “We are always looking for ways to make motoring cheaper and more professional for local motorists and those coming from further a field. That’s why we worked around-the-clock to finish our new service centre; not only to improve every customer’s experience, but slash the cost of having a car serviced or get an MOT.”

The BMW i3 may get an early production boost

Having invested around £1.7 billion in the development of the BMW i3, the research and development team at BMW must have been waiting with baited breath to see what the response from the general public would be like.

As it turns out, they needn’t have worried. Interest in the vehicle has significantly exceeded expectations and as a result, BMW may have to increase the level of production of the i3 very soon.

BMW_i3BMW has already taken a large number of reservations and if this level of interest holds, the German car giants are likely to have to expand their operation regarding the production of the i3 in order to meet public demand.

It was a bold idea for BMW to try and create a game changing electric car from scratch. Other companies have taken the safer route by basing their electric cars on existing models. It seems that the investment has begun to pay off as people are getting very enthusiastic about the carefully crafted, environmentally friendly addition to the BMW fleet.

One of the key issues that members of the general public have consistently voiced since the inception of the first electric cars is the limitation on the driving distance of battery operated vehicles.
BMW_i3_1Whilst it is fair to mention that there is a range extending version of the BMW i3 available which enables you to take on petrol for longer journeys, people’s biggest issue with full electric vehicles has been the concern that the distance you can travel might not be enough.

In this case however, it doesn’t seem to have dampened the spirits of the masses of people registering an interest in the i3 before it has even been released.

Perhaps this change is simply down to the fact that people have been waiting for a top quality car manufacturer to commit to building a full electric car from scratch. There is something not particularly reassuring about companies simply fitting an electric engine into a conventional fuel based model chassis.

This may even be a tipping point for electric vehicles as trust in the concept is obviously increasing.

If BMW continue to see great levels of interest in the i3 after it is released, it will encourage other car manufacturers to start taking their own full electric car projects more seriously.