MINI/BMW attempts to make amends for past mistakes

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  1. [B]'Sorry' BMW[/B]
    In the latest October 2009 issue, [B]Mini Magazine [/B](page 8) are reporting, that the head of MINI brand communications, Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, attended the IMM (International Mini Meet) Presidents meeting at the Longbridge conference centre and addressed Mini Club chairmen from around the world, to apologise for their past treatment of the classic Mini community and proposed 'wiping the slate clean so they can work together with smaller traders who use the Mini brand without the threat of heavy handed legal action.' He also stated that MINI was committed to supporting the heritage and fleet of the classic Mini, including future sponsorship of the IMM and inviting classic Mini owners to its Techno Classica and Mini United shows.
    A lot of these changes in tack will come about through improved, and more transparent, two-way communication with the community and traders. However, the firm does acknowledge that any reconcilation will take time and that these are small steps on the long road to recovery. 'All of these are small beginnings the start of better communications which will, we hope, grow our understanding of what needs to be done to build long-term commitment to the Mini community and to air any issues that exist between us.'
    Traders who do currently use the brand name and trademarks without consent are being encouraged to open dialogue with British Motor Heritage, which has been assigned the UK rights manager for the Mini brand.

    Mini Magazine end the report by saying 'this may be a turning point in the relationship between the classic community and MINI, and is certainly a step in the right direction. Watch this space…'

  2. BMW as sponsors of the IMM/Mini 50 also wrote in the Official Event Programme about how they should have paid more attention to the Classic Mini heritage and enthusiast scene at grassroots level and went on to make a commitment to continue supporting Mini meetings in the future……….

    [B]Quote from the IMM/Mini 50 Programme:[/B]
    'MINI is committed to carefully nuturing and supporting the legend, the design inheritance and the ethos that the Mini community represents.
    In the past MINI has sometimes had its eyes fixed a little too firmly on the future. This has meant we haven't always taken the right approach to the Mini community. But while we cannot go back and change the past, we can shape the future together with you. And there have recently been changes at MINI. We sponsored the IMM 2008 and invited the Mini community along to celebrate the 50th Birthday with us at MINI United at Silverstone in May. There, 25,000 fans of the best car in the world included Paddy Hopkirk. Rauno Aaltonen, Mike Cooper, Paul Smith, Olivia Harrison and Mary Quant – every one of them a legend of Mini history.
    All of these are small beginnings, the start of better communications which will, we hope, grow our understanding of what needs to be done to build a long-term commitment to the Mini community and to air any issues that exist between us.
    ……the belief we all share – whether as Mini or MINI owners – is that the car is much, much more than just a useful way of getting from A to B. It is this that unites us, no matter what model we drive.
    We look forward to getting involved, getting into debates and bringing together the Mini and MINI communities…………'

    In the latest November 2009 issue of [B]Miniworld magazine[/B] editor Monty Watkins also says, 'Interestingly, it even looks like the folk at BMW Mini are starting to show an interest in a helpful relationship with the Mini scene, instead of a legal one. Wouldn't that be nice?'

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