Weekend Special - MINI - The company, brand and the cars in India
Ashwin Ram N P, Ashwin is a guy with a slightly unorthodox perception of everything. His struggle to choose a career path, between art and automotive engineering, has landed him in the field of auto journalism, where he has paved way for himself to practise both.
MINI India launched its second dealership in the country in Delhi last week. The state-of-the-art dealership owned by Bird Automotive is located in Vasant Kunj and exhibits three cars that are the MINI Hatch, MINI Convertible and MINI Countryman.
The variants of these three categories can be further divided into the MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper S, MINI Cooper Convertible, MINI Cooper S Countryman and MINI Cooper S Countryman High. The prices of these vehicles are as follows:
- MINI Cooper – Rs. 25,50,000
- MINI Cooper S – Rs. 28,60,000
- MINI Cooper Convertible – Rs. 30,70,000
- MINI Cooper S Countryman – Rs. 32,80,000
- MINI Cooper S Countryman High – Rs. 35,90,000
In one way, MINI is selling a series of overpriced compact cars but in another way, it has a monopoly in the market with no competition. MINI India even sells the cheapest convertible in India and thanks to the “temporary roof,” the MINI Cooper Convertible accounts for about 30% of overall sales of the company. More than a car, MINI is selling a brand that distinguishes the owner from every other car or brand on the road.
Since its launch in Mumbai two months ago, MINI India has delivered about 50 cars and the lot arriving for the next three months are already booked in both Mumbai and Delhi. The third and final exclusive MINI India showroom will be Deutsche Motoren, Delhi's second MINI dealership, that will open shortly.
MINI cars in India - A more detailed look
To a layman, all MINI cars would look alike inside-out. Actually, even to a car enthusiast, MINI models differ minutely. Born with a single product, the original “MINI,” the company now offers 5 products in India and all of MINI’s offsprings are based on the same platform, share the same iconic design and there are a few nips and tucks to differentiate their personalities.
The Cooper and the Cooper S siblings differ as the former being more comfortable and practical while the latter is dynamic and sporty. The MINI Cooper Convertible is in a class of its own, and being the most inexpensive convertible in the country does help.
The MINI Countryman has two models on offer, which differ only in terms gadgetry on board. If you want a Countryman with a ‘niche’ touch and more gadgets to fiddle with, then the Countryman High’s your choice.
All the cars have the same 1.6L engine but in different states of tuning. The Cooper and the Convertible have a less powerful 122bhp version whereas the rest share a meatier 184bhp version.
MINI dealership in New Delhi - What's in store?
One look and you’ll know it’s a MINI dealership - a very obvious indication is the MINI Cooper that hangs upside down right next to the brand board. One of the world’s most emotional brand gets India’s most unique dealership.
Spread over two floors is the 5000 sq ft. area, which can display up to six cars at a time. Along with the three cars currently on display, the dealership also has a MINI DJ Lounge, MINI Lifestyle Collection and MINI Accessories on display.
Amongst the accessories, my pick would be the MINI bicycle, only if it was available in my size! Check out the pictures below for the complete view of accessories available there.
MINI cars in India - Image Slideshow
[Flickr gallery direct link]
MINI dealership in Delhi - Image Slideshow
[Flickr gallery page direct link]