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Need4Speed
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Discussion Starter #1
So, my wife and I finally decided what options etc. we wanted to order on our 2005 MCS and headed to the dealer to place our order.

Unfortunately it seems Mini USA decides what its North American customers want rather than leaving it up to us :(

Yes, we want an anthrazite headliner and I won't start another thread about that being discontinued since there are already a couple of those, but I would like to mention my sales person was not aware of this issue and said we could still get it??? He did ask if it would be a deal breaker if for some reason we couldn't though. :rolleyes:

Now, here's my main complaint. We decided we wanted to order the leather/cloth combination after seeing it at a local dealer. Panther Black Octagon cloth with Panther Black leather - perfect :) Salesman, "oh, that's not available for the US spec MCS". You can only get Tartan cloth and leather. What the ... :confused: . OK, what about Panther Black Octagon cloth with Panther Black cloth? Salesman, "oh, that's not available for the US spec MCS either". You can only get Space Silver/Panther black cloth". :mad: We don't want light gray seats!

We left without placing our order.

Why can't Mini USA just allow it's customers to choose what they want like the rest of the free (and even not so free) World???
 

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I don't know why the USA market is being restricted as you suggest, but let me make a meager defense of Mini/BMW.

Cars aren't as simple as they look. Each market has different regulations for safety, emissions, etc. and it may not be economical to produce every possible option for every market. Further, have you gone down to your local Honda dealer and seen the selection of options for a new Civic? Likely, you can get either of two "canned" trim levels and five or six exterior colors, each exterior color with a fixed interior color. That's it.

So while Mini USA may not let you build the combination you want, they level of customization with Mini is truly straggering, much MUCH better than any other car you can buy.

- Mark
 

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Need4Speed
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Discussion Starter #3
markjenn said:
...
So while Mini USA may not let you build the combination you want, they level of customization with Mini is truly straggering, much MUCH better than any other car you can buy.

- Mark
Sorry, but I have to disagree with that statement. Even though BMWNA severely restricts it's options to their customers there is a plethora number of options available when compared to Mini's meager option list.

I think the limited choices being offered to American customers by most manufacturers stems from how most Americans shop for cars (even more so in the past). In the States, most people walk into a dealer and if they see what they want the expect to drive away in it. If not the same day then pretty soon after ... 1 or 2 days top. Obviously, compromises on both sides have to occur to make this happen. Dealers can't be expected to have one of each possible car configuration available for every model they carry and likewise customers must realize this and make sacrifices occordingly. So dealers end up with cookie-cutter cars. European buyers on the other hand, go to a dealer and pick each individual option they want. Packages are even a rarity. The European customers know they will have to wait to get the exact car they want, but that's OK. Now, since we (NA buyers) have to wait for our European cars to be built just like our cousins overseas why shouldn't we be able to pick and choose just like they can? If Mini USA offers one color of cloth interior, what harm is it to offer the other two combinations they offer everyone else? BTW, all the cars come off the same assembly line, so this is not the issue. It just doesn't make sense.
 

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The only Cloth + Leather upholstery choice available on the US hardtop is Tartan Red Octagon + Panther Black.

If this doesn't suit you can always apply the $800 or $1300 [for full leather] cost to having your seats reupholstered or puchasing aftermarket seats.
 

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///ACS330Ci said:
European buyers on the other hand, go to a dealer and pick each individual option they want. Packages are even a rarity. The European customers know they will have to wait to get the exact car they want, but that's OK. Now, since we (NA buyers) have to wait for our European cars to be built just like our cousins overseas why shouldn't we be able to pick and choose just like they can? If Mini USA offers one color of cloth interior, what harm is it to offer the other two combinations they offer everyone else? BTW, all the cars come off the same assembly line, so this is not the issue. It just doesn't make sense.
Amen to that!

I was looking at the Canadian Configurator and was really disappointed with the selections. When I ordered my 2002 pre-configured MCS, the dealer told me that in the future (due to the computerized production facilities) any combination would be possible--from mismatched door panels to different seat covering front and rear.

Yeah, right...

Tony
 

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Need4Speed
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Discussion Starter #6
MINIAC said:
If this doesn't suit you can always apply the $800 or $1300 [for full leather] cost to having your seats reupholstered or puchasing aftermarket seats.
That makes sense ... NOT, but that might be what we'll have to do. For now, I've asked our salesman to check on the cost of purchasing the German spec seat covers we want and installing them after delivery.

I suppose another option would be to go with JCW seats.
 

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Currently there are Panther Black cloth seat covers available for the front ($125) and rear ($199). They have the Kaleido pattern but I imagine there will be some available in the Octagon pattern.

I don't think you can get JCW seats in the US because of airbag issues.
 

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Need4Speed
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Discussion Starter #8
MINIAC said:
Currently there are Panther Black cloth seat covers available for the front ($125) and rear ($199). They have the Kaleido pattern but I imagine there will be some available in the Octagon pattern.
Do they replace the original seat covers or do they just go over the top?

MINIAC said:
I don't think you can get JCW seats in the US because of airbag issues.
There's another surprise ...
 

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Need4Speed
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Discussion Starter #10
MINIAC said:
They just go over the top.
Thanks, but I think I would rather go with the reupolster option if I have to.


This still doesn't address the key issue though ... Mini USA need to offer NA customers the options the rest of the world gets to choose from.
 

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///ACS330Ci said:
This still doesn't address the key issue though ... Mini USA need to offer NA customers the options the rest of the world gets to choose from.
You have a point, most MINI buyers do not buy off the lot. We must wait several weeks to several months for the cars to be built and shipped. I understand why we can't get right-hand drive as an option, but NA-only color restrictions (like anthracite headliners and cloth/leather seat combos) is silly IMO.

I faced the same dilemma with the interior of my HB MCS- in the end black leather was the only reasonable choice. Didn't want space cloth, or red, and I think Lapis Blue would conflict with Hyper Blue.
 

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Anthracite Headliner isn't phased out until after sept production. So if your dealer has a slot open for Sept, you could still get it.
 

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SLEEPY_NOKKIE said:
cause this country SUCKS
I wouldn't say that it is unique to the States. We are further handicapped with language problems.
I have a feeling that there was a movie along these lines...
 

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miniminymoe
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SLEEPY_NOKKIE said:
cause this country SUCKS
A person with a foreign passport getting an entry visa to stay in the USA is quite dificult and people go through unimaginable dificulties to enter and live here...but leaving to live somewhere else is quite simple........

Sucks...I don't think so.
 

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M5 Extraordinare!
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markjenn said:
I don't know why the USA market is being restricted as you suggest, but let me make a meager defense of Mini/BMW.

Cars aren't as simple as they look. Each market has different regulations for safety, emissions, etc. and it may not be economical to produce every possible option for every market. Further, have you gone down to your local Honda dealer and seen the selection of options for a new Civic? Likely, you can get either of two "canned" trim levels and five or six exterior colors, each exterior color with a fixed interior color. That's it.

So while Mini USA may not let you build the combination you want, they level of customization with Mini is truly straggering, much MUCH better than any other car you can buy.

- Mark
Even though I dont exactlly like the service we get.. I agree with what you said about the options we already get from MINI... its amazing compared to other cars.
 
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