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The MINI Cooper is popular here in the states, and enthusiasts are fiercely loyal to their European models with built-in fun and personality. What many car-buying Americans may not know is the company itself is actually called MINI and has ties to BMW. Today, we’ll introduce you to the MINI phenomenon, and explore more about the automaker, including how it’s connected with BMW.

A common brand misconception

The MINI Cooper may be our first taste of what MINI had to offer Americans. This might also be the reason why there is a common misconception that the automaker’s name is MINI Cooper.

But, in fact, the company is called MINI and offers more than just the Cooper and Cooper S. There is more to this brand than the belief that there are two MINI Coopers — a small MINI Cooper and a large MINI Cooper (Countryman or Clubman).

Born British and popular in Europe

Before consumers got excited about MINI here in the U.S., the British and European markets enjoyed the MINI models first. Originally, MINI was a model name (Austin MINI and Morris MINI) sold under differing brands owned by British Leyland.

It was post World War II (1957), and gas prices were soaring. MINI answered the call and delivered a capable, fuel-efficient car for everyone. The MINI was born and became a fan-favorite in 1959. Later, British Leyland became Rover Group, and the MINI began exploring different models.

Is MINI owned by BMW?

Many wonder if MINI is a British company or a German one. While it started as a post-war, British phenomenon, as of today, it is actually a German company. BMW Group bought the Rover Group in the mid-late ’90s and began separating brands.

BMW Group kept MINI as its own brand and still owns the company today. MINI landed here in the states in 2002, and with hints of BMW styling and features, it has been an iconic brand here ever since. Whether you prefer the two-door hatchback, the convertible, or the Countryman crossover, there is a personality-packed MINI variation for everyone.

MINI’s research and development all come from the BMW Headquarters in Munich, Germany. However, all MINI models dare produced in one of two manufacturing plants. The global market of MINIs comes from either the Cowley, Oxford England plant, or the VDL Nedcar plant in Born, Netherlands.

What’s new in 2020 for MINI?

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The future looks electric! These light beams were powered entirely by Lisbon’s charging stations. Watch the city light up.⁠ ⁠ #MINIElectric #MINI #Lisbon #AllElectric #ChargedWithPassion⁠ ⁠ __⁠ MINI Cooper SE: Energy consumption in kWh/100 km combined: 16.8 – 14.8, Fuel consumption in l/100 km combined: 0, CO2 emissions in g/km combined: 0. The values of fuel consumptions, CO2 emissions and energy consumptions shown were determined according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version applicable at the time of type approval. The figures refer to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown considers optional equipment and the different size of wheels and tires available on the selected model. The values of the vehicles are already based on the new WLTP regulation and are translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to ensure the comparison between the vehicles. [With respect to these vehicles, for vehicle related taxes or other duties based (at least inter alia) on CO2-emissions the CO2 values may differ to the values stated here.] The CO2 efficiency specifications are determined according to Directive 1999/94/EC and the European Regulation in its current version applicable. The values shown are based on the fuel consumption, CO2 values and energy consumptions according to the NEDC cycle for the classification. For further information about the official fuel consumption and the specific CO2 emission of new passenger cars can be taken out of the „handbook of fuel consumption, the CO2 emission and power consumption of new passenger cars“, which is available at all selling points and at

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While MINI has been hanging on, the numbers over the last few years have been lean. Many dealers also own a BMW franchise and have relied on used-car sales to stay profitable.

Dealers are excited, though, for 2020, with the latest MINI model set to launch soon. The 2020 MINI Cooper SE is all-electric, and consumers are ‘hand raising’ and chomping at the bit to get theirs. Jason Willis, MINI National Dealer Council chairman, says, “MINI buyers are excited.”

The iconic MINI is a blend of the MINI Cooper hardtop and the BMW i3s. Coupled with the federal tax credit of potentially up to $7,500, the price tag makes it even more appealing to enthusiasts.

With a long, rich history of designing smart and capable cars, MINI knows how to give the consumers what they want. Backed by BMW R&D, some suggest MINI is better than ever.

People are craving electric vehicles, and many automakers are jumping on board to race to market with EV model options. The MINI Cooper SE may be the answer car buyers want, and the leg-up the MINI dealers need this year. Even if you’re not a proud owner of one of these sporty and fun cars, it’s hard not to recognize and respect what MINI can do.


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