Over 18 years of driving, I’ve owned MGs old and new, Rovers, and a Land Rover. Despite these companies often being owned by foreign companies in one way or another at various times (Honda, BMW, Ford), I’ve always considered these cars to be British, and I think most people would go along with that.
However, now I’m adding and MCS to the list, I wondered if people still consider the Mini a British car? I don’t think you can apply an objective criteria such as where the car was built, where the components came from, or who the parent company is – personally I think it’s something much more subjective and emotional than this.
So what are your views? Us Brits may well be a bit biased, so it would be interesting to see if other owners across the world see the Mini as a British car or a German one.
I'm British and consider the car to be German (though I still think of the MINI name as British). Does that make sense??!! A German car with a British name
And to be honest I think the MINI being German is a good thing, the build quality and image of British cars is questionable. If it had stayed with Rover I don't think it would be as good as it is, you wouldn't of got half the options and safety equipment (especially things like ASC&T, 4 airbags etc).
I think us Brits are the minority who view the new MINI as not British, other countries, in particular the US, view the MINI as a British icon more so than just a car so where it is built, where it's componenets are from and who the parent company is are not that relevant - and I think, ironically, that BMW marketing has mananged to maintain that Britishness with the new MINI ... zany adverts etc etc
I guess it's the same with Rolls Royce - both viewed as icons of Britishness, yet both technically foreign.
I suppose the Union Jack roof option says a lot - I don't remember seeing a German Flag roof option in the Mini options list :-)
I consider the MINI to be a British car. It started life as a Rover project and is built in Oxford by Brits. Most important, its personality is distinctly British as opposed to germanic, which may well be a subjective fact only truly understood by owners of other British automobiles. The fact that it is merely (and gratefully) funded by a German company does not alter the essential characteristics of the car at all.
VW's ownership of Bentley doesn't alter the car's inherent nationality and to think of Aston Martin as an American car is silly although for personal reasons, I do prefer the older models.
The parts content really isn't a deciding factor as most automobiles today are sourced from myriad worldwide sources.
The moment you step foot into a MINI, you are intuitively aware of its national heritage.
Is the Honda Civic british because it's built here?
I say the Mini keeps the brand alive and employs thousands of people in the UK
I don't really care either way. German or British???
Now the dust has settled on the terrible way BMW dealt with Rover
I'm actually glad BMW kept the MINI brand as I believe they have made a much better all round product than Rover would ever would have (Yes, I know Rover did alot of the design work). I much prefer going to a BMW dealer than a Rover dealer. Sad but true
Also the main thing I thought Rover had going for them is they were still preceived as a British Company employing British workers. Now they want to cut costs and maybe 'quality' by moving production of models abroad.
Rover need to cut back on the model range side and concentrate on the MG TF and Rover 75 this is the only way Rover will stay alive in the future. Most of the model range is to old and the new models they keep bringing out are just wrong "City Rover' & what is that new MG that costs £80,000. Hummmmmm let me think about it a porsche 911 or a MG Rover? WHAT ARE THEY DOING!!!!!!
Technically, the fact that the car is made from components from all over the world, was designed by and American and was R+D'd by BMW in Germany would make me say it's not British, but as more of an emotional view I think most people would call MINI a British car. It helps that it's built here!
Further to the Rover thing - If things had gone differently and Rover had have gone on to sell MINI, I know I wouldn't have bought one - even if it was exactly as good a car as it is now...
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