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Mini to top 50k sales after business push

Date: 03 November 2006   |   Author: Guy Bird

Mini Traveller

The new Mini - on sale November 18 - and its lifestyle estate counterpart due early 2008 could push UK sales through the 50,000 barrier for the first time.

Already a firm business favourite for its watertight RVs, strong image and driving fun, the top 50 fleet seller and top 25 fleet marque expects to sell 38,000 this year (slightly down on 2005 due to downtime for new investment in the plant), 40,000 in 2007 and 50,000 by 2008/09.

The much more fuel-efficient, low CO2-emitting (and in the case of the proposed Traveller lifestyle estate - bigger and more practical) products will also be teamed up with a bespoke Mini dealership network to target smaller business more effectively than before.

UK marketing manager Emma Lowndes told BusinessCar: "There are more opportunities with the 'shooting brake' version due in early 2008 as it will be a more practical proposition for business.

"All dealerships have separate showrooms now - not just Mini in a corner [of a BMW showroom] - but they are not all yet architecturally separate. The new ones will have a separate entrance, reception and so on."

Although Mini is keen to stress its retail bias (fleet sales vary between 15-20% recently) it is making sure its new dealerships will be up to the job of handling small businesses by drawing on the experience and expertise of parent BMW.