OXFORD, England - The New Mini will be marketed as 'Mini by BMW Group' when it goes on sale next year.
In Europe, the New Mini, which makes its debut at the Paris auto show next month, will begin at $13,486 - less than previously thought, said Mike McHale, Mini product spokesman for BMW AG.
Sales in all markets will be through BMW dealerships, which will have dedicated Mini areas. The target 100,000 peak production at the Oxford plant will be reached within two years, McHale said.
Of those, 20,000 are expected to be shipped to the United States, where sales begin in 2002.
Europe will take 65,000 cars a year, the bulk scheduled for Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. An additional 15,000 will be sold in Japan, where the traditional Mini has a cult following.
In addition to the $269.7 million in development costs, an additional $269.7 million to $404.6 million will be invested marketing the New Mini worldwide.
'The Americans know all about the Mini, and there are Mini clubs in some states,' said McHale, who will soon move to the United States to help launch the New Mini, a 21st-century remake of the British icon.
'Our marketing strategy will talk about Mini's heritage, but at the same time we have to appeal to a new audience,' he said. 'We will not be selling the new car against the old one. It must stand on its own merits.
'It won't try to answer all the motorist's needs, like all those hatchbacks designed to fulfill many roles. The Mini will be smaller and tighter than that.'
Performance versions of the New Mini will retain the Cooper and Cooper S brands.
'Cooper is a very valuable brand name which is important to the Mini heritage,' said McHale. 'With an eye on the motorsport scene of the early 1970s, racing is something we are looking at. The guys working on the brand in Munich and elsewhere are really excited. This is something you can really play with, and the ideas keep coming.'