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Discussion Starter #1
TO MY MINI Friends,

I made an initial inquiry to my local MINI dealer last June and was informed that they were only taking names on an interest list. OK Fine, PLEASE put me down - I'll give you anything you want. After checking back via email every 90 days or so I again made contact after pricing was released yesterday.
The email response to my inquiry as to where I was positioned on the list was they would not release that information and nothing more will happen for another 30-60 days. I have read a number of postings by people who know exactly where they are, and some of them here in the US have even put deposits down. This seems very odd, We're located in a major Southern California market - probably BMW's largest. Obviously I'm looking forward to the car and like most of my fellow enthusiasts I'm excited -especially after seeing the Cooper S at the LA show. The inquiries I've made have all been polite and have been returned in a professional manner except that there is still this "AIR" of BMW snootiness -almost like "these silly little people and their MINI questions -pass me the caviar Charles". Now I must admit, that I did give them a little zinger when I forwarded them the MINI pricing from MINI2.com BEFORE they even knew what it was and they couldn't wait to chop my head off and point out that the site was "UNOFFICIAL". Anyway, I continued to let them know that there are a lot of us who HAVE MONEY - WIL BE customers and KNOW a thing or two about cars and not just nameplates. OH well, if I find out that I'm #10,000 on the list I'll know I've pushed it too far - maybe I should start limiting my Cooper S daily intake. In closing I have to reiterate that all I want to do is to order the car and have some basic customer service and if all else fails - I have ALL of the dated correspondence just in case I have to make a little noise to management down the road. Man, it sure would be a lot easier if I bought a Ford Taurus. All similar experiences or contradictions welcomed.

Anonymous (so I really don't end up #10,000)
 

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Arrogant Dealers

It seems that some of the US dealers have been on the same course as their UK cousins!!

If there's an alternative dealer that you can go to I would suggest you try them. I realise that the dealer network is pretty thinly spread in the US so that may not be practical.

In the UK the snooty attitude seems to pervade certain dealers and be totally absent at others.

There are plenty of moans in other threads on MINI2 about dealerships. However, I've noticed that not many users actually name either the bad or good ones.

I think there should be more comments posted in this forum as getting the right dealer is essential.
 

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minimienymo said:
TO MY MINI Friends,

I made an initial inquiry to my local MINI dealer .....

We're located in a major Southern California market - probably BMW's largest. ....
If you are among the very fortunate to have the choice of several different MINI dealers nearby, as it sounds you are, then spread your name, and maybe a deposit (or two), around to another dealer, (or perhaps several different dealers), who will treat you as a interested customer and put you on a real numbered, chronologically-based, waiting list. You should be told your place in line to purchase a MINI.

Remember, the dealer where you purchase your MINI does not have to be the dealer you visit for service work. So you can chose a distant dealer to purchase, and the closest dealer for service work. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for responding Bruce & Ricardo. I was totally expecting a response from the dealer telling me I was # so and so and that because I gave them my name on June 15th there were this many people ahead of me and we will contact you when we start taking deposits - which usually separates the men from the boys and at that time we can give a close estimation of when you could expect delivery! That's all I'm looking for. Two months ago I did put my wife's name on a list at another dealer -we'll see what happens. I just didn't want to forfeit all that time from last June. I'm hoping the dealer will contact me with a reasonable position number and all I'll have to do is smack them around a little to get their attitudes in line and all will be fine! I went through a similar situation way way back in 1985 when I purchased an incredible BMW K100RS motorcycle that was the first in-line 4 cylinder model coming to the US - Trust me, I'm not going to take any bullsh*t. Thanks again for your comments -it's too bad some dealers act like they're the customer.
 

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Mini Lists/Pricing

My local, soon-to-be Mini dealer has been GREAT! Even though I keep trying to offer them a deposit for a tentative order, they have pointed out that they don't have the official dealership papers yet and can't take money for something they can't sell. Makes sense. I too, am on the "interest list". Hope I'm not #10,000 as well

I did talk with them tonight and they said they will be selling the car at list. I have no problem with that. The only exception is if they buy cars from another dealer, then they will put some profit in because they will have to pay list from the other dealer.

I WANT MY BRG S MODEL!!!
 

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I have had my name down at a dealer since around August. They have not been taking deposits but have been telling me where I am on the list and assuring me they will sell at MSRP. I put in a call every 6-8 weeks to make sure I don't get forgotten and he sounds reasonable when I talk to him. Having never dealt with the dealer before I don't know what to expect.

There do seem to be enough dealers who are selling at MSRP to reduce the chance that some will be tempted for extra dollars. However, the test will be when a buyer comes in to one of these and offers $5,000 over MSPR for the next car to arrive. Will the dealers who said they were at MSRP and are selling in the order of the list really say no to this person? Would someone at #50 on the list ever know that their car came in two months later than expected because of some side deals that jumped ahead of him? Would having a $1,000 deposit with the dealer really protect you more than with just being a name on a list?

This forum should be used to make public both the dealers who screw people and those who can be trusted. I am sure most dealers are visiting this site and I keep mentioning the info I get from here to mine so he knows I am here too. A new MINI dealer can not afford to be seen as untrustworthy by the enthusiasts so keep the posts coming when we have real life stories from US dealers.

Keith
 

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I think this varies from state to state as some state's law states that you can't take money down on a product that isn't yet being sold, or if they don't have official papers saying they are a dealership (MINI i'm guessing won't give out these papers till their showroom is 100% complete.) so it might not be them not wanting to take money, but them not being able to take money. The law might also state that the dealers can't take a ordered list as it has the same effect as deposits, but are allowed to take an interest list that they will call when they can take deposits. They may very well have a list in a certain order but aren't allowed to state what that is yet. Either that or salesman was hungry and had to get back to his cavier. (If it is long beach mini then i understand as when I called them a lady rudely hung up on me saying we don't sell MINIs we are a BMW dealership. Go call a MINI dealership)

If any dealer sees this (Brecht MINI - they are nice enough to say how it is) could you please give us a better explanation?

Cheers
 

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I don't know about other dealers, but for me it is a matter of getting ahold of people off of the list. Lets say I call the top 50 people, and number fifty comes in right away, while number five is on vacation or off on business. If #5 comes in when he gets back, he gets his place out of fairness. So when I call 300 people to get the first 100 deposits for each model, it is tough to give a precise number to someone until a fair amount of time has passed, or I stop taking depsosits.

I have spent many nights trying to think of a better way, and I can't. First come-first served is not fair because of the number of people I have on the list. As a dealer, let me say that the lack of info, delays, and limited availability is not any fun for us either. However, we are introducing a new brand, not just a new car, and we want to do it right. I know there are niggles going on, and they will get fixed, so thank you all for being patient with MINI USA and its dealers.
 

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Minimienymo, I know you want to remain anonymous, but I just wondered what part of so cal you're in, and what dealer you're talking about. I'm also in so cal, and I've contacted several MINI dealers in the area. Of all of them, only one has given me a number, he was pretty reluctant to do so, and even then he only gave me a rough estimate of my position.

As someone else mentioned, I'm pretty sure it is illegal for them to take deposits here in California at this point. Along with that, all the dealers I've talked to have called their lists "contact lists," which gives me the feeling that, while they may vaguely stick to the order of the list, having a "top spot" doesn't necessarily mean anything.

This being, as you said, a large market, and a market which I'm sure you agree has plenty of people who are more than willing and able to pay above MSRP for something if they really want it, I have a bad feeling that the lists aren't going to be much of anything. As Keith mentioned, I have no doubt that if I'm #10 on a list but #50 comes in before me and tells the dealer he'll drop in a $5000 bonus to move up the list, #50 will be getting his car long before I see one, and I think this is exactly why most of the dealers are reluctant to give out solid numbers to people.

It would definitely be a good idea to talk to other dealers too, though. You mentioned that you talked to Long Beach MINI, so you probably aren't too awfully far from me, and I know that there are 7 MINI dealers within an hours drive from me, so you should have plenty of options in who you're going to buy from (note however that, should you be one of the people willing to drop in the said $5000 bonus, please leave all the dealers near me alone! ;) )

PigLick
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for commenting everyone. Piglick - I'm in Tustin and have contacted two OC dealerships, LB and one in San Diego. I appreciated the response from Tim R. He has a reasonable approach and that's all I'm looking for. Personally I won't pay one dollar over MSRP. Although I was really excited after the LA Show and I still do want to buy the car, I'm prepared to wait and hear from the dealers and find out exactly when I could expect to get one. I might buy something else like a Jetta or an A4 and order the Cooper S this fall for a 2003 delivery. Unfortunately it's a lot like what happened with the Porsche Boxster - things eventually calmed down.

Hope it all works out for everyone!
 

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One suggestion I have given some people is that since the wait is so long, a 2 0r 3 year lease on the Cooper will get you into a MINI now, and you can turn it in for your S at the end. Or keep the Cooper and add some "stuff" later. Can't say more yet.;) ;) nudge, nudge, y'know y'know.
 

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TimR said:
I don't know about other dealers, but for me it is a matter of getting ahold of people off of the list. Lets say I call the top 50 people, and number fifty comes in right away, while number five is on vacation or off on business. If #5 comes in when he gets back, he gets his place out of fairness. So when I call 300 people to get the first 100 deposits for each model, it is tough to give a precise number to someone until a fair amount of time has passed, or I stop taking depsosits.
I have heard this explanation before but have to admit that I don't understand it. Regardless of how many names are on the list, you should be able to fill customer spec'd cars in the order of the list. I agree that factory spec'd cars go to the first person you can contact who wants it but at least everyone knows the longest they will have to wait based on where they are on your list. I would assume that after the first month or two, almost all cars will be customer spec'd and the customers will know a long time in advance when their cars are going to arrive.

You should be able to get your customer's requirements before they need to be sent to the factory - I can give you mine right now! I don't see how you get in to a situation where a customer taking a few days to get back to you causes problems. If they take weeks to return your call then they deserve to lose their place in line.

Is it more complex than this - am I missing something?
 

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Yes, it is a little more complicated. Lets say you can call 40 people a day, and end up getting 30 voice/answering machines/sons/daughters/nannies, and only 10 actual customers. Should you lose your place because your children don't give you my message? Should I call you 10 times, which means I have to call 800 people ten times, 40 calls a day, 8000 calls divided by 40 per day = way too much time on the phone. Just because # 800 is ready with cash now and standing in front of me does not mean I will skip number 5-799 to make him happy. Yes, there will come a point when I stop trying, but if someone had the intelligence and drive to get his name on the list over a year ago, I think he deserves a little time. There will be problems no matter how I do this, so I picked the most fair that I could, and I will stick to it. Unless you would prefer that I chuck the list and just tack on an extra $5000 sticker to see how short the line gets:confused:

We are all excited, and I'm probably the worst. I have to sell them all, and wait at #428 on my own list because I came in after it was already started. THAT"S frustration:p
 

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TimR said:
....We are all excited, and I'm probably the worst. I have to sell them all, and wait at #428 on my own list because I came in after it was already started. THAT"S frustration:p
Tim, you make a lot of sense. But #428??? :confused: :eek:

You are planing on taking on one of the dealership's demo MINIs as your main transportation "to familiarize yourself with the product", aren't you? :D
 

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Tim,
I am still not seeing the problem.
What if you wrote a letter to the first 50 on your list and told then they need to get their exact requirement to you by, say, April 1 for them to hold their place. Then, when MINI tells you they are ready to take a few customer spec'd orders, you take the top ones from the list and send them in. When your pile of unfilled orders gets small enough you send a letter to the next 50, and so on.

I can see that you may have short notice to handle factory spec'd cars. But, if MINI says you can place a certain number of customer specified orders a month, then this would let everyone on the list know the longest they would have to wait for a car.
 

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JUST A LITTLE NOTE FROM
MINIMOTORINDADVISOR
1. I am taking depo's on cars and disclosing the exact waiting #
2. We are prespecking cars for the customers.
3. None of that crazy over msrp stuff.
PLEASE CHECK OUT MY OTHER THREADS, IT WILL TELL YOU ALOT MORE
http://www.mini2.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?forumid=1
GO TO MINI MARCH OR MINI USA WEBSITE. I hope my info will help!!!
J. Rowland
MINI Motoring Advisor
 

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minimotoringadvisor said:
JUST A LITTLE NOTE FROM
MINIMOTORINDADVISOR
1. I am taking depo's on cars and disclosing the exact waiting #
2. We are prespecking cars for the customers.
3. None of that crazy over msrp stuff.
PLEASE CHECK OUT MY OTHER THREADS, IT WILL TELL YOU ALOT MORE
http://www.mini2.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?forumid=1
GO TO MINI MARCH OR MINI USA WEBSITE. I hope my info will help!!!
J. Rowland
MINI Motoring Advisor
Ms. MINI Motoring Advisor :), how long are your dealerships current wait lists for the Cooper and the Cooper S?
 

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Here, let me give you my numbers
We currently have 103 on our list.
60% MINI "S", 40% MINI
OUR first MINI will be in March 22nd. We will be reciving at least 30 a month, maybe a few more.(Depends if the other dealers are up and rolling)45 days after March 22nd we will recive our first "S". Our allotment is 60% MINI, 40% "S". So our first MINI S customers will be reciving their cars around end april/begining May. :D
MS. J
 

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You are correct. When the time comes, I will place orders for those who have stepped up at my invitation. Until then, there are times when 1 phone message is insufficient in trying to reach someone. Put another way, you sound like a MINI fan, and someone who really wants one. If I only left you one message and gave up on you, would you accept it? Would you be happy that you dropped from getting a car in the first month to waiting 3 years, just because I only tried once?

I wouldn't, and I use how I would like to be treated as a guide to how I treat my customers. I am not trying to make a one-time profit by taking only those who walk in with money in hand, I am building long-term customer relationships as part of our dealership's family philosophy.
 

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WOW,
I do not know if that was meant bad or good, but in any case I agree. I do not want one time customers, I want customers for life. I have a feeling every MINI Motoring Advisor feels the same way. I want to help create a succesful, long-standing franchise, not a fly by night operation. I look forward to meeting you in S.F. Tim R.
Drop a line sometime, and tell me how everything is going for y'all
Thanks
J. Rowland
[email protected]
 
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