WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. -- Faced with declining sales and a more mature brand that's launching revamped vehicles, new Mini leader David Duncan is making marketing, customer service and increased dealer profitability his priorities.
Duncan, 48, was named vice president of Mini of the Americas in January. He replaced Jim McDowell, who ran the brand for nearly nine years as sales spiraled upward and Mini appeared to be unstoppable.
This is Duncan's third stint at Mini. He helped set up the dealer network in 2001, left to work for parent company BMW, returned to run product strategy in 2009 and sales and aftersales in 2010 and was vice president of BMW of North America's western region before taking the helm at Mini.
Duncan has transformed the office that was stuffed with the Mini toys, memorabilia, Hawaiian shirts and posters so loved by the vivacious McDowell into a sanitized space with only a few knickknacks and a bare desktop. Aside from not wearing a tie, Duncan resembles the polished BMW executives on the other side of the floor.
He laughs at the comparison and swears he didn't clean the office because of the interview. He exudes a calm managerial presence and makes the occasional humorous quip.