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After talking with a representative from MINIUSA last week, here’s my understanding how MINI Cooper S models will be ordered in the US.

  • All Cooper S models -- every single one starting from day one -- will be special ordered at each dealership. Contrary to conventional wisdom, MINIUSA will not pre-spec the early Cooper S’s that are sent to the dealers in late spring.

    On a certain day, at a prescribed time, MINIUSA’s computerized ordering system will begin accepting Cooper S orders from all approved MINI dealers who are open for business. I don’t have any information when the order day will be, but I was told it would be “soon”.

    Because the ordering will be done nationwide on a first come/first served basis, some, perhaps all, MINI dealers will want to get as many orders in as quickly possible the moment MINIUSA begins accepting Cooper S orders. This may resemble a stampede. To deal with this situation quickly, the dealers themselves, not MINIUSA, may decided to order their own pre-spec’d cars in the interests of assuring themselves of having something to sell to customers come late May/early June. Some dealers have even asked some of their customers who are low on their Cooper S lists a series of general questions to understand customer preferences for colors and option packages so any pre-spec cars will quickly find homes – even though they are not technically a car ordered per a particular customer's specifications.
If all this is true (and I think it is), with long waiting lists at every MINI dealer there is not really a good incentive, the argument goes, for a dealer take the time needed and have the customer visit the dealership, sit down with the sales rep and carefully input the exact order into the computer system and run the risk of having the car arrive at a later time. So, if a customer low on the S list doesn’t like any of the first batch of cars that arrive at the dealers, the car will be offered in turn to the next person on the list and the customer will place an exact order for a particular car to be delivered at a later date. The customer (eventually) gets what he wants, and the dealership starts moving Cooper S units as soon as possible.

Again, the above is my understanding after talking with MINIUSA. If anyone has more complete knowledge about how Cooper S ordering will work, or you want to shoot holes in any of this, please let the rest of us know... :)
 

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Well I certainly don't have any kind of inside knowledge but what you state seems to make sense. Although my dealer told me that I would get to special order - That we would not be forced to choose a pre-spec, the pictures of all the MINIs (including S') at the NJ port show otherwise. In other words there appear to be plenty of pre-spec S' arriving.

I'll hold out for my own spec please :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
MINIMiller said:
....the pictures of all the MINIs (including S') at the NJ port show otherwise. In other words there appear to be plenty of pre-spec S' arriving.
I think everyone agrees that those Cooper S cars seen in NJ earlier this month are only the demo/showroom models for each dealer to be shown when the dealerships open in March. The Cooper S demos will not be sold to customers (at least not until their demo days are over).
 

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I have been wondering for some time now why the MINI dealers don't send out a questionnaire or some facsimile to the "listers" to at least get an idea what each individual wants. A dealer database could be started that would help them to sort out the cars as they start coming in. Of course the first on the list and so on would be offered the initial cars to arrive, but the dealers if given a choice, could at least try to match up the first cars with the first, second, third, etc. on their list.
I also realize that the MINI sales staff are actually BMW sales people who are trying to make a living selling BMW products at this point, and have better things to do.
Is it just me or are we all thinking about this too much? Geez, I've got to go make a living now too.
 

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Thanks very much for the information BruceK. This makes sense to me and parallels what I've heard through my dealer.
 

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BruceK said:
After talking with a representative from MINIUSA last week, here’s my understanding how MINI Cooper S models will be ordered in the US.

  • All Cooper S models -- every single one starting from day one -- will be special ordered at each dealership. Contrary to conventional wisdom, MINIUSA will not pre-spec the early Cooper S’s that are sent to the dealers in late spring.

    On a certain day, at a prescribed time, MINIUSA’s computerized ordering system will begin accepting Cooper S orders from all approved MINI dealers who are open for business. I don’t have any information when the order day will be, but I was told it would be “soon”.

    Because the ordering will be done nationwide on a first come/first served basis, some, perhaps all, MINI dealers will want to get as many orders in as quickly possible the moment MINIUSA begins accepting Cooper S orders. This may resemble a stampede. To deal with this situation quickly, the dealers themselves, not MINIUSA, may decided to order their own pre-spec’d cars in the interests of assuring themselves of having something to sell to customers come late May/early June. Some dealers have even asked some of their customers who are low on their Cooper S lists a series of general questions to understand customer preferences for colors and option packages so any pre-spec cars will quickly find homes – even though they are not technically a car ordered per a particular customer's specifications.
If all this is true (and I think it is), with long waiting lists at every MINI dealer there is not really a good incentive, the argument goes, for a dealer take the time needed and have the customer visit the dealership, sit down with the sales rep and carefully input the exact order into the computer system and run the risk of having the car arrive at a later time. So, if a customer low on the S list doesn’t like any of the first batch of cars that arrive at the dealers, the car will be offered in turn to the next person on the list and the customer will place an exact order for a particular car to be delivered at a later date. The customer (eventually) gets what he wants, and the dealership starts moving Cooper S units as soon as possible.

Again, the above is my understanding after talking with MINIUSA. If anyone has more complete knowledge about how Cooper S ordering will work, or you want to shoot holes in any of this, please let the rest of us know... :)
BruceK , Any ideas on how many of the selected MINI dealers out there won't be ready for business by March or April because their separate showrooms or buildings aren't ready. It seems that this would factor into which dealers are getting cars first and in particular the desirable S model. I read on this site about a dealer that supposedly won't be ready to sell cars until about July :confused:
Any thoughts?
 

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I'm sure a BMW dealership that has not completed construction of it's Mini extension building/showroom by mid/late-March can still sell Minis by mid/late-March. They'll just have to make a little extra room in the BMW showroom for a little while.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Re: Is this how Cooper S models will be ordered?

Lemooz said:
BruceK , Any ideas on how many of the selected MINI dealers out there won't be ready for business by March or April because their separate showrooms or buildings aren't ready. It seems that this would factor into which dealers are getting cars first and in particular the desirable S model. I read on this site about a dealer that supposedly won't be ready to sell cars until about July :confused:
Any thoughts?
I have no idea what percent of the 70 or so US dealers will be ready to open their doors in late March for business, but it certainly is not all of them as you noted. Some won't even be open for business until the 3rd or 4th quarter. (Lemooz, if you have some time on your hands :rolleyes: you could check dealer by dealer on the miniusa.com site where the projected opening date for each one is displayed when you select a particular dealer.)

I think you are certainly right that if only a portion of MINI dealers will actually open next month for business, it would seem to indicate that there would be more cars to go around between them. However, remember that at the same as US dealers eagerly await new MINIs, the MINI factory in Oxford must deal with demand for US-spec MINI Coopers going from zero to thousands --- AND must add a new MINI model to the production mix, the Cooper S, for both US and worldwide consumption. Not to mention the MINI will be launched in Australia, Canada (and other countries?) at roughly the same time.

Sounds like a huge logistical hurdle.
 

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SomeBlondeGuy said:
I'm sure a BMW dealership that has not completed construction of it's Mini extension building/showroom by mid/late-March can still sell Minis by mid/late-March. They'll just have to make a little extra room in the BMW showroom for a little while.
No, Mini dealers can only sell cars out of the Mini showroom/building. They cannot deliver cars until the showroom is ready. Look at the miniusa website to see when dealers are opening, then add another few months for good measure.
 

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More MINIs to Prepared Dealers

So here's a thought... Obviously MINIUSA has confirmed that a dealer cannot sell MINIs until their building is prepared fully. Sounds like anywhere between 10% to 25% of the dealerships (or more) may not be ready on time and will open in late spring or summer.

So, it seems to me that the prepared dealers who open on day one will start selling MINIs like crazy and will end up getting more than 'their share' of MINIs for some period of time since some of the dealers aren't selling yet.

Jason
 

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I have been wondering for some time now why the MINI dealers don't send out a questionnaire or some facsimile to the "listers" to at least get an idea what each individual wants.
At least one U.S. dealer has done exactly this sort of survey for the first group of people on their list.
 

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Here's a portion of a reply from Wayne at MINI USA when I asked if he had seen the pictures of MINI's being offloaded in New Jersey. Note the second paragraph.

"Yep, I did see the pictures. Our VPC is getting ready to deliver hundreds of pre-spec MINI Coopers to our dealers for our March launch.

A bit of inside info... The pre-spec Cooper S cars already in the US will be for dealer demos only. When your dealer opens, they will take Cooper S special orders for ASAP production, and late spring delivery."


Wayne
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MINI USA
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My dealer collected a non-refundable deposit for right of first refusal for the first cars coming in,stating no special orders.:mad: :mad: :mad:

I mailed MINI USA and in a quick :cool: :cool: response they said the first cars were pre-speced and cars could be customized for timely delivery,stating I should talk to my future dealer about specing my car.:D :D :D

And before yall get to it... Dark silver S, black lid,sports pack w/stripes,Lapis blue leather and the H/K


:D :D :D
 

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BTW

Bruce, recently, we've been checking our sources and this was what I just posted on another thread (not too far off your suggestion):

"we checked our MINI USA source again. Two different people we've been in contact with say that their computers show the build information and both were saying the following that I've posted elsewhere:
- IF THE DEALER OPENS ON MARCH 22nd their computers will be ready to place spec orders. Otherwise, only pre-specced cars for them.
- Two demo Cooper S's, one DS, one EB, both loaded on March 22nd.
- In April, two more but these are for sale, one DS loaded, one EB with Auto Air and Fogs only
- In May, a few more pre specced S's with many of the first customer spec cars coming in before the end of the month.

It's also been confirmed that the only reason the S is coming in behind the Cooper introduction is because the suppliers of run-flat tires said they'd be able to handle the load, but since the Cooper and S both come with 16" run-flats, they're falling behind.

Take this with a gigantic grain of salt :rolleyes:
 
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