MINI Cooper Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have had 2 or 3 different stories about the Mini S coming to the US and I am hoping a few of you who are on a dealer list can help me out. Here are the questions I asked (I am looking for general thoughts here as many of you may or may not know):

1) As I think I understand most dealers correctly - My deposit of $1000 get's my name on a list for the S, correct? I have heard some are paying $500 - but is this the Std. Mini?

2) Now, with that in mind, I am now an official # on a huge list for a spec'd S - for the '02 summer shipment. Does this mean, should my number come up, I can have my pick of only spec'd cars they have left on the lot? Meaning, if they do not have my color there - I am kind of out of luck and need to order one customized to my tastes? And if they no longer have an S on the lot as my number was so high, I am out of luck again?

3) With this in mind, has anyone heard what the wait time is to have their S custom ordered? Going back to the original point - do you need your name on a list just to make an order like this? Here in GA they mentioned to me that they were holding off on custom orders until end of summer - anyone else have any info?

4) Where are most people on a given US list? I have heard some are #4 or some are even at #400. It makes me wonder if people past #50 (per a given dealer) will even have a chance to get a Mini (or an S in this case).

I have these funny dreams, you see...of a CROWD of people at a dealer with ticket stubs in their hands - screaming at the BMW reps...yelling "I'M NUMBER 334!!!!" I'M NEXT!" I cannot imagine how this will even be executed. I am sure there are many people on a list who will be simply calling their Mini rep asking where they are today on the list, etc. I love the dark silver and I have a strange feeling that this will be the popular color for the S in the US.

It was like this for the Miata years ago....and yes, years ago, the Miata had a number of TSB's announced with small glitches....I am not worried as to what I have read yet about the Mini's mini-problems.

Anyway - thanks to anyone for your input - it is confussing as not a lot of the reps even know what is going on right now.

-Peter and Der Blue Potato at large in GA
(still not on the list yet)
 

·
Moderator & Sponsor
Joined
·
3,758 Posts
Der Blue Potato said:
I have had 2 or 3 different stories about the Mini S coming to the US and I am hoping a few of you who are on a dealer list can help me out. Here are the questions I asked (I am looking for general thoughts here as many of you may or may not know):
I’ll give it a try....
Der Blue Potato [/i][B] 1) As I think I understand most dealers correctly - My deposit of $1000 get's my name on a list for the S said:

2) Now, with that in mind, I am now an official # on a huge list for a spec'd S - for the '02 summer shipment. Does this mean, should my number come up, I can have my pick of only spec'd cars they have left on the lot? Meaning, if they do not have my color there - I am kind of out of luck and need to order one customized to my tastes? And if they no longer have an S on the lot as my number was so high, I am out of luck again?
Your dealer should be telling you the exact way this will work, but my understanding is that only the first 10 or Coopers and first 10 or so Cooper S models at each dealer will be determined by the factory. So the first person on the Cooper S list gets first pick of one of the 10 pre-spec’d Cooper S models and either selects one or places an order for the exact car desired – and so on until all 10 cars are gone. Once all the 10 pre-spec’d Cooper S models have homes, all of the other people on the list custom order their cars to their exact wishes based upon the options, colors, etc. Then new shipments of MINIs arrive each month to fulfill specific customer orders.
Der Blue Potato said:

3) With this in mind, has anyone heard what the wait time is to have their S custom ordered? Going back to the original point - do you need your name on a list just to make an order like this? Here in GA they mentioned to me that they were holding off on custom orders until end of summer - anyone else have any info?
Again, your dealer should be telling you the exact way this will work, but I’m sure you do need your name on a list to place an order as the list provides the sequence in which orders will be taken. It’s my understanding that periodically, perhaps once a month, a dealer will contact, say, the next 30 or so names on the list, and ask them to place an order for a MINI. There will likely be some attrition on the list, so you may get called sooner than you think. Once your name comes up on the list and you’ve been given an opportunity to place your order, it has been said that it will take 6 to 8 weeks for “your” car to be built, shipped, and arrive at your dealer.
Der Blue Potato said:

4) Where are most people on a given US list? I have heard some are #4 or some are even at #400. It makes me wonder if people past #50 (per a given dealer) will even have a chance to get a Mini (or an S in this case).
Some members of MINI2 are number 1 on a list, but some, like yourself, have just placed a deposit. I’m #8 on the S list at a dealer - I placed my deposit back in June ‘01.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
My dealer split the list into 2 groups: Cooper and Cooper S. I told them back in June when I put down a $500 deposit that I wasn't sure which model I wanted yet, so I am on both lists #1 for the Cooper and #2 for the Cooper S.

They have pretty much told me the same thing that BruceK said as far as the ordering is concerned. However, each dealer will be getting 1 Cooper S in March with the first batch of Coopers to use as a demo model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info guys...here's what I have been told in a nutshell:

"We are plaining to see the Cooper "S" on June 1st. We have taken deposits for the first 3 months of production or so. The deposit requiered is $1000. The cars are to be ordered by the buyers spec's."

So what this means to me is that if I put down $1000 today, I will not see my car for about 90 days (Aug-Sept)?

I think that's what I am reading here.

Does anyone think I should look for another dealer who may have a shorter time frame? Has anyone else pursued this idea?

-Peter
 

·
Loves MINI2
Joined
·
855 Posts
The first dealership I called (months ago) were not taking deposits and told me to call another dealership to see how they were working it. I called the other dealership and they had a list and were taking $500 deposits. I am #46 on the "s" list, so I know I will have to wait a little longer.
If I were you I would definitely call other dealerships in the area and see how many they have on the list and what deposits they are taking.
My contact told me the first shipment of cars they get in will be pre-speced (obviously) they plan on keeping 1 or 2 of each model to become "demo" cars. They others will be available for the first people on the list. If none of them want the pre-speced cars they will keep going down the list until the cars "have homes." In the meantime, the first batch of people who didn't want the pre-speced cars are placing their orders for their speced car. My contact also told me that she would be calling me when she is able to take my specs.
Hope this helps!:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
783 Posts
My dealer told me essentially what BruceK described. When I left my deposit in November, I was #17 on a "contact list" (anyone who'd ever left a name/number) of over 500 names. As people on the list decline their opportunity to make a deposit, those who did make one will move up. There was talk that cars (S's) might actually be delivered in June, and if I was close enough to the top of the list at order time, I could move down the list to adjust the delivery date to suit me (I want to take delivery in July). Whether or not anyone will be getting their cars in June (or September . . .) is still up in the air.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Mid May

Was getting approval from MINI USA to use their logo in our SCCA publication and was chatting with the director of corporate communications, he said we should see "S"s in mid May...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
Magnum,
A little clarification please. Did the MINI USA rep you spoke with indicate if the first S's in May would be customer spec or demo/pre-spec cars?

Thanks,

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Your mileage may vary

In the US there are legal and customary restrictions on how much control a manufacturer can exert over retail outlets. This means that you buy a car from a dealer who is in business strictly for himself, not the manufacturer.

So put yourself in a dealer's position. The MINI is in high demand, short supply, with nothing similar available anywhere else. You've been handed a golden-egg-laying goose, but how long it will keep laying is an open question. The customers for this product are not your usual customer, so if you screw them you won't affect your bread-and-butter repeat business. In addition, you probably feel some resentment at the manufacturer's interference in doing what you think you do best (ie sell cars) with their heavy-handed insistence on separate facilities etc. There are no rules about how you should manage your list, and no consequences of mis-managing it.

Finally, the whole issue of fairness is pretty nebulous to you as a dealer. If one guy wants BRG, and you have a BRG car, but he's on the list after a guy who wants Indi Blue -- who should he call first? And here's a guy who has offered "a big contribution to your favorite charity" -- obviously he wants it more, is it fair to make him wait for his number to come up? And on and on.

Selling cars is a pretty sleazy business. Did BMW choose the lucky 70 based on "reputability", or something else? Maybe the willingness to invest in a separate showroom was all that mattered; maybe bribery was part of the decision. (I wonder why the CEO is retiring so suddenly?) You can be sure BMW won't tell. The point is that you can know nothing for sure about a MINI dealer except that he may one day sell MINIs.

So:
1. Just because one dealer is reported on this forum to do it one way, doesn't mean any other dealer will do it that way.

2. Just because your "local" dealer tells you how he's going to do it, doesn't mean he WILL actually do it that way.

3. The more specific, open, and rule-driven the list management procedure, the less wiggle room the dealer will have for himself.

Much of the consumer's ability to "choose with their feet" has been eliminated by limiting the dealerships to such a small number. The only remaining power that we consumers have is information, and that's why this forum is such a great thing.

Sorry for being such a windbag.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
I went to my dealer last week.
They still haven't called me for a deposit yet.
I'm #6 on a composite list. The showroom is supposed to be breaking ground now? All I know at this point is I should be one of the first getting a shot at a prespecced car or getting to spec my own car, and that they can't screw me out of my deposit, yet.:p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
i put down a $1000 deposit at east bay bmw in pleasanton last week for a cooper s. they were very courteous but hadn't made a definitive numbered list yet. the guy told me that they should have a list ready by the end of this month.

one thing that he did say was that there are only two colors to choose from at this point for the cooper s (electric blue and dark silver). can anyone clarify if this is just for the first 10 or so pre-specified cars only? i told him i'd like a pure silver one and he wrote down "TBD" for the color. i guess it'll all depend on how far down i am on the list.
 

·
Moderator & Sponsor
Joined
·
3,758 Posts
Re: Your mileage may vary

Clutch Cargo said:
... The customers for this product are not your usual customer, so if you screw them you won't affect your bread-and-butter repeat business. ....
Clutch Cargo, while I agree with most everything you said as being possible - if worst-case. But, I don't with the quote above.

Part of the benefit of separate MINI dealerships is that there will be a unique sales staff devoted to selling the MINI. And many of us will be repeat MINI customers (my wife recently said she'd consider buying a standard MINI Cooper to park next to my Cooper S - her idea not mine :)) or we will strongly influence the purchasing habits of friends and other customers (such as through this forum).

How well a dealership treats its customers will not go unnoticed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
And there's also a reason MINI showrooms are adjacent to BMW showrooms, not down the street. That Z3 looked awfully tempting my last visit. :) A positive MINI dealer experience will help with repeat business across the entire BMW family. Plus there's servicing. (I'm on the MINI list at the dealer where I get my present car serviced. That's not a coincidence.)
Word gets around, too. I've already "sold" a MINI to a friend, and I don't even own one yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Sheesh Clutch

I mean really - you do paint a bleak picture there - but I think it is important to know that everyone's story if somewhat different.

I can tell you that after talking with the 2 local BMW/Mini dealers in Ga, both were very nice and were very factual with me about their procedures. I didn't any hints of what you mentioned in your statements from anything they said. And in fact, I will be seeing one of them next week to put my name on their list with confidence that I will get a Mini (of course). I think persistance is key here after you are on the list.

It is also important to note that he said he is going to have 2 Mini's next week for some fun - one silver for the day and one yellow to show around. He invited me to call back and come on by to take a spin.

He also said in May they were to be getting in the spec'd S Mini and will work their way down the list and yes, all would be spec'd by the factory - not the local dealer.

So I feel better and I appreciate all your comments - well, at least most of the comments that were positive and encouraging. :rolleyes:

-Peter/Atlanta
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
927 Posts
I just got a message from a "local" MINI dealer indicating that "he's going to have a MINI tomorrow after noon - if I want to drive one",

RATS!! I have to work!!
 

·
Moderator & Sponsor
Joined
·
3,758 Posts
sdmidget said:
I just got a message from a "local" MINI dealer indicating that "he's going to have a MINI tomorrow after noon - if I want to drive one",

RATS!! I have to work!!
Go see it! Drive it! You can always get another job. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
WOW!! So are all of the US dealers getting a MINI real soon to show as demos? My dealer has been terrific but I haven't received a call to drive one this week :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Nice Guys Finish Last

I don't think ALL car dealers are total scumbags, but it is important to understand the realities of their business environment. And it's crucial to understand that there are HUGE differences between different dealers.

I personally feel much better about my new dealer (BMW of Darien CT) than my old, and I feel the extra half-hour drive will be well worth it. And, a good honest, fair dealer should be rewarded with as much repeat and referral business as possible!
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top