BMW Group released its Annual Report 2015 today and we are reading through it so you don’t have to! Here is what is in there pertaining to our Lieblingsmarke MINI.
Production and Sales
In 2015, MINI produced 342,008 vehicles (+5.9%) and sold 338,466 vehicles (+12.0%) for a difference of 3,542 vehicles.
Significant increase for the MINI brand
MINI sales grew by 12.0 % worldwide to 338,466 units (2014: 302,183 units), helped primarily by the popularity of the new MINI 3- and 5-door models, of which a total of 221,982 units were delivered to customers (2014: 140,051 units; + 58.5 %). Sales of the MINI Countryman totalled 80,230 units (2014: 106,995 units; – 25.0 %). The new MINI Clubman became available towards the end of October, since then approximately 8,000 units have been sold.
Did you know that MINI was building vehicles in Brazil? These are the types of nuggets you find when you read the Annual Report:
Production at the BMW Group’s newest plant in Araquari (Brazil) currently includes the BMW 3 Series Sedan, the 1 Series 5-door model, the X3 and the X1 as well as the MINI Countryman.
Also in Asia:
The manufacturing sites in Chennai (India) and Rayong (Thailand) complete the BMW Group’s production network. Last year, the plant in Thailand celebrated its 15th anniversary and expansion work was continued at the plant at the same time. It is the only production facility within the network that produces not only BMW and MINI vehicles, but also BMW motorcycles.
Regarding MINI engines:
The BMW Group’s largest engine manufacturing plant in Steyr (Austria) makes both petrol and diesel engines for the various BMW and MINI plants.
This production information you should already know:
MINI 3- and 5-door models and the MINI Clubman are currently manufactured at the site in Oxford (United Kingdom). The UK production triangle also includes the components plant in Swindon and the engine plant at Hams Hall, where petrol engines are manufactured for MINI and BMW. In Graz (Austria), Magna Steyr Fahrzeug technik manufactures the MINI Countryman and, since 2012, the MINI Paceman for the BMW Group. The Dutch car manufacturer, VDL Nedcar bv (Born), has been producing the MINI 3-door since 2014 and the MINI Convertible since 2015 on behalf of the BMW Group.
How many MINI dealerships are there in the world? It’s in there:
The worldwide distribution network currently consists of around 3,310 BMW, 1,550 MINI and 140 Rolls-Royce dealerships.
Profit before tax came in at a new all-time high of € 9,224 million [$10,205 million] (2014: € 8,707 million; [$9,633 million] + 5.9 %). In addition to generally strong demand for the Group’s brands, earnings also increased on the back of favourable currency factors Good contributions to earnings also came from the BMW X6 and X4 models launched at the end of 2014, as well as from the BMW 2 Series with its various new models and from the new MINI 3- and 5-door models.
Research and Development
The report highlighted several R&D areas and this was what BMW Group chose to write about MINI:
MINI presents Augmented Reality glasses
The MINI Augmented Reality glasses presented at the Auto Shanghai 2015 supplement reality by superimposing the wearer’s field of vision with additional useful digital information on events in and around the vehicle, offering the user not only increased safety, but also greater convenience. Information relevant for driving, such as the current speed of the vehicle and the speed limit, are always displayed in the same position above the steering wheel, regardless of the driver’s head movements, ensuring that other road users or possible dangers are not hidden from view. Navigation arrows virtually projected onto the road assist the driver by ensuring that he or she continually concentrates on the surrounding traffic. If required, the glasses can also be adjusted to show places of interest or even free parking spaces en route. A camera installed on the side of the vehicle assists the driver when parking, enabling the driver to check both the obstacles in his or her line of vision and the distance to the kerb, which is displayed in their field of vision. The glasses also provide the driver with a virtual view through parts of the bodywork by making the A-pillar invisible, for instance, hence improving all-round vision.
Sales and Marketing
New models for the third-generation MINI
The new MINI John Cooper Works has been available since April 2015. The new MINI Clubman followed at the end of October 2015. With its increased size and additional functionality, the Clubman has taken on a new dimension and now easily fits the bill as a household’s first car. The model’s outstanding chassis technology delivers a high degree of driving comfort. Also in October, MINI presented the new version of the Convertible, which remains the only model of its kind in the small car premium segment. The fully automatic textile top, featuring a totally automated opening and closing mechanism and sliding roof function, can be opened in 18 seconds, even while driving at speeds of up to 30 km / h.
Then there’s all kinds of noise about “financials” and “investments” and “EBIT” and such. If you’re interested, you can read the entire BMW Group Annual Report 2015. Or just go motoring.