26 MINI Owners Participated In Race
Last weekend, the BMW-owned subcompact automaker MINI teamed up with the Peninsula Shanghai for the first-ever “Peninsula-MINI Rally.” Beginning with a recruitment drive launched in June, the final two-day event culminated in a racing event attended by 26 hand-picked drivers from Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Hubei and Shandong.
At the rally’s opening ceremony, MINI China brand manager Zhu Jiang (珠江) said, “MINI owners in China are optimistic and adventurous. We hope this event can bring these MINI owners together as friends and as a family.” Zhu added that one of the aims of the event is to get more face-time with MINI drivers and learn more about their needs to provide more and better after-sales services.
On day one of the event, the Peninsula Hotel held a “MINI Fashion Creative Competition,” where attendees were able to decorate white ceramic MINI Cooper models. As groups painted their models, Chinese fashion designer Qi Gang dropped by to give advice and help out.
Following the activities at the Peninsula, participants were taken to Shanghai’s F1 International Circuit to enjoy a MINI F1 race track experience. As one participant said, “I’ve been excited about this event from the start. I never thought I’d be able to drive my own MINI on an F1 track like this. It’s unforgettable.” The 26 lucky participants, who applied at regional MINI dealerships over the course of the summer, then took part in a race around the track in their own cars.
This event is only the latest in a series of China-focused activities MINI has launched this year, which the automaker has organized to show its dedication to the world’s largest auto market. Two weeks ago, MINI concluded its second-annual “Chinese Job” driving competition, following a months-long series of contests in 36 cities throughout China. Looking to stay ahead of subcompact competitors like Smart and the new-to-China Fiat 500, MINI has also turned more to Chinese digital platforms. The automaker has been quite active on Sina Weibo, where it boasts nearly 80,000 fans, and in July, MINI announced a new online sales channel on its official website. At the same time, MINI debuted a new China-only “Tattoo” edition MINI Cooper, limited to only 100 units priced at 287,000 yuan (US$44,589). According to Sohu’s recent interview with Zhu Jiang, between July and October, all 100 “Tattoo” MINIs had been sold online.