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’.
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, Mini VP
Mini launches new F54 Clubman
Mini goes maxi with the launch of their new F54 Clubman, with this new 2015 model looking closer to Countryman size for added usability.
The new model should first hit the market in the first six months of 2015, offering a five door Mini with comfortable 2 + 3 seating. While it will still feature the iconic rear club doors, the single driver-side door will become two standard car doors thanks to both customer feedback and the desire for the added safety of having a B pillar on both sides.
Rear legroom will no longer be an issue in the F54 Clubman – even with the increased width that allows for a third seat in the back. Those who want a Mini but with greater boot space will be happy, as the length and width of the boot will be drastically increased, and there will be no issues with loading bulky or heavy items in as the hinging of the rear club doors will mean that the Mini F54 Clubman will feature significantly greater load angles. One big change at the rear, however, is that the rear lights will be integrated into the doors of the boot – and in terms of style and shape, will look very similar to those featured on the Paceman.
The design of the new F54 Clubman has already been signed off, with BMW now creating prototypes and conducting manufacturing assessments, ready for a probable launch before the second half of 2015.
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.
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.