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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if this has been posted or not but a columnist from the weekly news magazine AutoWeek(published here in the states) wrote a small article concerning the MINI Cooper S in the Feb 18th edition of the magazine where he states he is "giddy" with excitement over the car (so "giddy" that he actually placed an order for one). He also talks about an idea that I've been wishing about for years---actually watching your car being build via the internet.

Below is what he wrote and a link to the story from their website (sorry if this has been discussed before):

The new Mini circles in a tight holding pattern over my heart. I want one, so early on I put in my order on a Cooper S.
Talk about giddy! I share the joy with my boys; together we saw the Mini at the auto show, and for hours we pored over the Mini catalog and the Mini Book of Motoring. We own Mini stuff. We’ve already pieced together a jigsaw puzzle of a Monte Carlo Rally-winning Mini. For the next few months we will bide our time, tell friends of our future and scheme to kick the family minivan out of its heated parking spot.

Car buying is no simple process, for customer or automaker. It has become more than a transaction. Carmakers aim to “build relationships” with consumers—like I want to shoot hoops with my dealer?!—which is smarmy, touchy-feely stuff. Carmakers yearn for customers to embrace ownership; they want “to dialogue with” them early and often in the buying process to create loyalty. Yeech.

All of which—that loyalty bit—gets pitched like a disposable shop rag when the latest, lowest annual percentage rate deal hits the broadsheets.

Why can’t a car company strengthen the bond with a buyer from the first time she sees it in a car magazine or at an auto show to before she picks it up from a dealer? Sure they use direct-mail goodies and e-mail to create a sense of togetherness. And that might work, too. But think about this: If FedEx lets me cyber-see a package from Detroit to Memphis to Dubai, why can’t I watch my own car’s delivery? Don’t you think that would help us all just get along?

With a bar code swipe my beloved dark gray Mini Cooper S begins life on an assembly line halfway around the world. Through my computer screen I see it get its 1.6-liter supercharged engine, its wiring entrails, its airbag glands, leather interior, white roof and 17-inch S-lite alloys. But wait: With another swipe I know when it goes through its pre-delivery inspection (can Paddy Hopkirk please do handbrake turns in it, please?). My Dell “watches” it get loaded on a lorry and then on a ship and then as it comes off the dock and to the dealer.

Clearly, what this cyber-voyeurism can allow my boys and me to do is the unthinkable: watch the car from conception to delivery, and thereby embrace it as a true member of our family. Like the Discovery Channel that follows a herd of manatees, we are able to see more than we even knew we cared about as our Mini comes to life. It’s called maximizing the Mini experience.

Is there potential for problems? Sure. Will it work for every make and model? Probably not, but it will work for those cars and trucks about which owners are passionate. Still, if it could be done would we sit glued to our monitor? You bet.

Pass the popcorn, will you, the lot boy’s cleaning off the Cosmoline.


http://www.autoweek.com/columnists/cat_content_columnists.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_code=columnists&loc_code=index&content_code=05132645

:p
 

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Saw this too. I was wondering if he was a regular on this site and would be willing to say so here. Probably not, secret identity would be preferrable for a person in media.


However, he does bring up some good points. How cool would it be to see your car being made! :D :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There has to be a automobile company out there that has enough vision to make this a reality (just think of all the media attention--they would actually start a new trend):eek:
 

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Re: Autoweek Magazine Columnist

Autoweek magazine is also the hangout for Denise McCluggage, who has driven mini-coopers, jaguars, alfa romeos, and porsches in competition in the 1950s-1960s. She drove a Ferrari 250GT to a Sebring touring class win, and has a win in the Monte Carlo Rallye in a falcon. She is currently a senior contributing editor for AW and lives in Sante Fe, New Mexico. I would like to see how she compares the new MINI to the one she previously drove, once a press pool MINI has been driven by her. She is the only journalist to be honored by induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame.
 
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