MINI drives Design Indaba

We welcome Mini as the official vehicle supplier of Design Indaba 2011.

Mini, the originator of the premium small car segment, will be the official vehicle supplier to the 2011 Design Indaba,  taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 23 to 27 February 2011.

For the past 16 years Design Indaba has hosted an assembly of some of the world’s greatest creative exponents, leaders and thinkers in a collective effort to advance the message of design and creativity as an instrument for change. It’s also a South African hub for design education and a showcase of high quality, quintessentially local design.

Besides sponsoring the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa (MBOISA) award at the Design Indaba Expo, Mini will also supply 25 Mini Countryman vehicles to be used during the Design Indaba Conference and Expo. Launched in South Africa in November 2010, the Mini Countryman has taken the Mini design to a new level with four doors and a large tailgate delivering the brand’s characteristic driving fun outside of urban traffic scenarios and is even available with Mini ALL4 all-wheel drive.

“Our aim is to promote the exceptional talent we have in this country, hence our proud sponsorship of the MBOISA award. Authentic design is very important to our brand,” says Karen Valle, General Manager of Mini at BMW South Africa.

She says that Mini will also provide visitors to the Design Indaba Expo 2011 further opportunity to interact with the brand’s design by creating their own unique Minis. “Just visit Mini at the MBOISA stand and you will witness Mini’s iconic status based on more than 50 years of creativity in design and communication.”

Earlier this year, a jury compiled by the German automotive magazine “Automobilwoche” named the Mini “Car of the Decade.” The Munich-based auto publication’s experts found that no other model has had a greater influence on the development of the automobile industry since the start of the 21st century than the premium segment’s first small car.

The Mini began on its road to success in 2001. With the re-launch of the brand and the concept of a premium small car combining expressive design and exceptionally agile handling with almost endless possibilities for individualisation, the BMW Group made a highly successful venture into a new market segment. The Mini was named “Car of the Decade” not merely by virtue of its continually growing market success, however, but primarily for the impetus it has given the automobile industry. The “Automobilwoche” jury highlighted Mini’s status as a “cult small car” whose success unleashed “a wave of similar products”.

Although competition has since become much fiercer, Mini clearly maintains its leading position ten years on. The brand remains the only manufacturer to develop its own premium small cars independently, and achieved a new global sales record of 234,175 vehicles in 2010.

Looking into the future, Mini is already fuelled by innovative and sustainable ideas and an across-the-board focus on driving fun and individuality by introducing the Mini Paceman Concept at the 2011 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit last month.  The MINI Paceman Concept takes the fundamental strengths of Mini – its uniqueness, go-kart handling, agility, dynamic capability and individual design – and gives them a fresh twist with the help of cutting-edge technology and an innovative body concept. It combines a sporty, masculine appearance, versatility and coupe looks with the dimensions of the four-door Mini Countryman. And it brings together the classical Mini concept, the defining features of the Mini Countryman and the style of a coupe to harmonious effect. The result is a Mini “muscle car”, which displays its dynamic capability from every angle and showcases it impressively both when viewed from the side and in the design of the rear.

“With our Mini, Mini Clubman, Mini Convertible and Mini Countryman models we will continue to boast both the most extensive and highest-quality range in the segment,” says Valle.