Monthly Archives: October 2009

The Godfather Clubman Promotion??

I don’t know about this cartoonish promotion that is new on the MINI Germany website.
But see yourself. It’s in German but you get the story, no worries.


And now let me know what you think!



MINI Motoring

Driving a MINI is not like driving most other cars. MINI owners are often enthusiastic about their car and enjoy sharing the motoring experience with fellow MINI owners.
I have many fond memories of motoring with friends around the world.

On the way to MINI UNITED in Misano Italy, we meet Italian MINI owners by chance at Lake Como. Then drove as a group down south and into Bologona for an “aperitivo” and a walk around the old town, before proceeding to Misano later that day.
On the way back from Misano to Milan a convoy of MINIs emerged on the motorway like a flash mob, only it wasn’t planned. It simply happened. And so for the next 250 miles we swarmed north through Italy in a group of MINIs. Continue reading

MINI Driver vs. Non MINI Driver

Enough said.

Cooper vs. Cooper Diesel

Having test driven a Clubman recently I’m still undecided whether to go for the petrol or the diesel version. The test drive car had the 120 hp petrol engine. Before driving it I was somehow settled on the 110 hp diesel.
The reasons? The low emissions and fuel consumption, and the turbo kick.

clubman_diesel-storeThe Cooper Diesel is ten horses short compared to the Cooper. But is the Cooper the faster car?
Looking at the diesel’s torque you get a glimpse of where the diesel’s strengths are. It offers 240 Nm between 1,750–2,000 revs. And at full steam the over-boost kicks in to deliver 260 Nm. The Cooper only gets to 160 Nm of torque at 4,250 revs.
Sprinting from 0-60 the Cooper is 0.6 seconds faster, but not so when it comes to pulling away from 50 to 75 mph. Here the Cooper Diesel outperforms the Cooper by 2.3 seconds in 4th gear and 2.5 in 5th gear.

Ok, so far for the turbo kick, now let’s look at the economical side.
There are usually four factors that have an effect on the cost of ownership of a vehicle;

  • depreciation
  • tax
  • insurance
  • fuel consumption

To find out which of the two versions costs less, I used some assumptions to calculate what is costs me to own each. Comparing both will result in a conclusion which version is actually the better deal. Continue reading

The Clubman Test Drive

Tuesday night I drove to Frankfurt’s main MINI dealership. The trusted Reisegold Bimmer needed some movement anyway and was greeted with a big hello when I pulled into the dealer’s parking garage. After a bit of waiting I was greeted by Daniel Crespi, the MINI sales manager who I talked to on the phone the week before. About 10 minutes and a signature later and I had the keys to a Clubman in my hand. The car I got was a Cooper Clubman. So not the Diesel version I’m looking to buy, but the 120 hp petrol version. The color scheme was a nice Horizon Blue / Black combo with the optional Crown Spoke wheels, also in black. That was nice because I have a color combination in mind that also includes a black roof and wheels.
What do you think?


I sat in the car and quickly found my typical MINI seating position. Seat all the way down, backrest straight. Then steering wheel all the way up and – this is new compared to the 2004 model I owned – all the way out. For tall people like me the second generation new MINI offers an even better seat.
And then I pulled off the dealer’s lot, heading home with a big smile on my face. Continue reading

Tonight’s the Night! Test Drive Night!!

While some MINI sales managers are obviously not interested in selling cars, there are still some who are.
Tonight I will pick up a MINI Cooper D Clubman at the “Niederlassung Frankfurt”. Yeah!

I talked to Daniel Crespi on the phone last week. He is the MINI sales manager there.
While he was caught picking his nose recently, he is definitely not thumbing his nose at potential buyers. And I can only guess that is why he became the top selling MINI sales person last year.
He listened to me on the phone, heard my little MINI story and then worked his calendar and what he says are 7 different systems to book the test drive for me.

I’m also allowed to keep the Clubman until tomorrow. This is great as that enables me to put the whole family into the car tonight and see how that goes. It’ll also allow me to drive the daily route from home to work to look at and compare the fuel consumption.

I’m really looking forward to tonight and of course you can expect to see a test drive report on this site soon.

Dear Mrs. Car Dealer, Can I Please Buy a Car? Please!

Sorry for this rant. But I’m confused about a sales manager at one really large MINI dealer near Frankfurt.

For 6 years I helped one of the biggest car companies selling cars by applying Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to their marketing. So it’s fair to say I know the stages of the car purchasing funnel inside out.
Building awareness for the brand, talking with friends and family, looking at car magazines, ordering a brochure, researching online, visiting a dealer to kick tires, doing a test drive, buying.

I’ve arrived at the test drive phase. I’m an easy target for any half-decent car dealer. I’m a red hot lead, ready to buy. All a sales manager needs to do is to sit down with me, listen, get me a car to drive, prepare an offer while I drive that car, and then close the deal.
But it seems that some sales managers think differently. Continue reading