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Iconic British small car Mini first joined the BMW Group portfolio in 1994 following the German company's ill-fated acquisition of struggling Rover Group. However the current car is almost entirely a BMW creation - the first of the new designs did not go into full production until a year after BMW had sold off the rest of Rover. The redesigned automobile, still manufactured in the UK, mainly at Cowley and Swindon, made its debut in Europe in 2001 and arrived in the Americas and Asia Pacific region in 2002. It marked an important new development for BMW, giving the group what was then the first small car in its portfolio. It proved a remarkable success, performing well ahead of initial expectations. Sales grew consistently between 2001 and 2005, peaking at almost 200,430 vehicles before falling back in 2006 as a result of a production shortfall caused by rebuilding works at Mini's UK factory. That was a preparation for the freshened second generation design launched towards the end of that year. Sales have continued to rise since then, breaking the 300k level for the first time in 2012 and reaching a new high in 2017 of almost 372k cars. However, Mini has been unable to retain that level, with sales slipping back in each of the two following years. Volumes for 2019 were 347k, the lowest level since 2015. The group blamed uncertainty over the implications of Brexit as well as intense competition for the declines. There are four models in all, with the main Hatch supported by a convertible version, the extended length Clubman and Countryman SUV crossover. The Mini John Cooper Works sub-brand is a range of high-performance, racing versions of standard models. The US is Mini's single biggest market, followed by the UK. Some way behind is Germany, followed by Japan, France and Spain. The Mini was originally conceived in the mid-1950s as a British equivalent to the Volkswagen, a "people's car" which would appeal to the hearts and pockets of ordinary people. The project was initiated by what was then the British Motor Corporation and the first cars went on sale in 1959. During the 1960s, the Mini became one of the most widely recognised symbols of the new "swinging" London. Popularised by actors and fashion models, its status was greatly enhanced in 1969 by a starring role in comedy crime movie The Italian Job.

Capsule checked 3rd September 2020

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Which agencies handle advertising for Mini? Find out more from the Adbrands Account Assignments database

Who are the competitors of Mini? See Cars Sector index.

Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Social Media 12th Aug 2019: "Nimic : Trailer". The first creative project for Mini from newly appointed Droga5 London couldn't be less like an ad, though in that respect it highlights the car brand's commitment to creativity in all its forms. Overseen by Droga5, and funded by Mini, cult director Yorgos Lanthimos, creator of this year's awards blockbuster 'The Favourite', has helmed a 12-minute short for Mini starring Matt Dillon and Daphne Patakia. Here's the trailer; that's all that's currently available online. It's unclear where and when the full short will be available for viewing, though it premiered last weekend at the Locarno Film Festival. For now, the world at large will have to make do with this Mini-less trailer. All we are told is that it is the story of "a professional cellist and an encounter he has on the subway which has unexpected and far-reaching ramifications on his life".

Adbrands Social Media 21st Sep 2017: "Faith of a Few". BMW Group celebrates its super-charged John Cooper-edition Mini in this cool retro-styled film from Jung von Matt. The film references the Mini's extraordinary and wholly unexpected victory at the 1964 Monte Carlo rally, beating a roll-call of more established marques. It was that single triumph that put the Mini on the map, making it a symbol of the new Britain and directly leading to its inclusion in the classic Italian Job movie. The rest, as they say, is history.


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