Dr. Kay Segler, Senior Vice President MINI Brand Management, joined the field for the opening stage of the event, which led the drivers from MINI USA's Woodcliff Lake headquarters located just outside New York City to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.
MINI used the opening ceremony to acknowledge the rapid development of the brand in the USA and look ahead to the next stage in the growth of the MINI model range. Executives went on to officially confirm "MINI Paceman" as the name of the brand's seventh model, which will be presented in a few months' time and launched onto the market in 2013.
"We will continue to expand the MINI family," said Segler, "and, in so doing, build on our global position as the leading manufacturer of premium models in the small and compact car segment."
The powerfully formed three-door model, MINI Paceman, sees MINI once again laying the foundations for a whole new vehicle segment with the aim of giving more new target groups a taste of the excitement and allure of the brand. "The MINI Paceman is the world's first Sports Activity Coupé in the premium compact segment. It combines a clear appetite for extravagance and infectious driving fun in a style that only a MINI could pull off with such authenticity," Segler confirmed.
The strong interest generated by MINI TAKES THE STATES in this landmark year has underlined the ever-growing popularity of the MINI brand in the US. This will be the fourth time that the MINI community has gathered in the "land of opportunity" for a rally. Each program has been markedly different, and the 2012 route will take the participants coast-to-coast across America through 16 states, with stops in 13 cities, enabling them to motor on some of the most iconic roads in the USA. The official closing ceremony (or wrap-up party) is scheduled for July 15 at the House of Blues West Hollywood in Los Angeles.
The MINI TAKES THE STATES organizers are expecting several thousand registered participants. Some will be driving a few segments in their MINI, while several hundred participants will undertake the full 3,903-mile (6,281-kilometer) distance.
After New York, Philadelphia and Washington on July 4, the convoy will stop in Charlotte and Nashville, Chicago, Des Moines, Boulder, Albuquerque and Phoenix, among other places, before crossing California on their way to Los Angeles, the Pacific coast and, most importantly, the venue for the wrap-up party.
In store for all participants is not only a motoring adventure on an extremely attractive route, but also an extraordinary shared experience both on the road and when the day's driving is done. A richly varied program celebrating every aspect of MINI will be spread over the stop-off points along the route. Activities include parties, entertainment from special music guests, sporting competitions and slalom tests held on closed roads, free from the shackles of the otherwise strictly observed speed limits. A host of once-in-a-lifetime experiences are in store for motorers, many of which will be carefully planned “surprise and delights.”
MINI TAKES THE STATES has been held every other year since 2006. As in all previous editions of the rally, a portion of the proceeds from each $30 participant registration fee will be donated to charity. To this end, MINI USA will present a minimum of $10,000 (USD) to the US Paralympic Team - regardless of the number of participants in the rally.
MINI in the US
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC, located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey and includes the marketing and sales organizations for the MINI brand. The MINI USA sales organization is represented in the U.S. through a network of 113 MINI passenger car dealers in 38 states. MINI USA began selling vehicles in the U.S. in 2002 with the introduction of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S Hardtops. Since then, the MINI Brand in the U.S. has grown to encompass a model range of six unique vehicles.
Journalist note: Media information about MINI and its products is available to journalists on-line at www.miniusanews.com.
Consumer information about MINI products is available via the internet at: www.MINIUSA.com
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