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商业 - 汽车

宝马英伦小弟MINI增长势头正劲

Doron Levin 2014年09月23日

在宝马公司的帮助下,英国轿车品牌MINI不仅保留了它的英伦格调,而且重新赢得了市场认可。日前,最新五门版搭载大量宝马技术与工艺的MINI轿车隆重上市,这款车型标志着MINI品牌又向前跨出一大步。

最新五门版MINI。来源:MINI

    1994年,当宝马(BMW)从英国汽车公司(British Motor Corporation)买下罗孚集团(Rover)这块烫手山芋的时候,对这笔交易的质疑声此起彼伏。此后6年,宝马基本上任由罗孚自行发展,直到2000年这个战略被证明是失败的,宝马才将罗孚集团拆分,将罗孚和路虎(Land Rover)两个品牌转手卖出。

    但是,宝马选择继续保有MINI这个品牌,并且让它重获生机。

    自从2000年以来,宝马向MINI注入了大量工艺和生产技术,生产了一批格调与性能兼备的精品小车,使MINI品牌名声大噪。要保留MINI独特的英伦范儿可绝不是一件容易的事,毕竟MINI与宝马在德国的实验室和设计室有着极深的联系。

    今年9月初,宝马隆重庆祝第300万辆MINI车在英国牛津工厂下线,并且推出了一款最新版的四门硬顶车型(宝马自家称其为“五门”),这款车型有着比较宽敞的后排空间。从目前的销量数字来看,宝马已经愈发认识到有效管理多个品牌并且多点盈利的重要性。

    这300万辆车中有200万辆是从英国出口的。由于当年英国政府连年对没有竞争力的本国汽车厂商进行救助和补贴,给经济带来了不小的压力,因而许多英国人对MINI最终卖给宝马都感到很欣慰。MINI的出口给英国经济带来了强劲的推动力,同时也成了英国的骄傲。

    英国运输大臣苏珊•克雷默指出:“MINI是英国的一个符号,蒸蒸日上的汽车产业已经成为推动英国经济不断增长的排头兵,而MINI正是其中一个非常重要的部分。本届政府正在努力为宝马等汽车厂商创建理想的环境,鼓励它们继续创新,开发具有全球吸引力的英国国产汽车。”

    宝马集团负责生产的董事哈拉德•克鲁格表示,自从2000年以来,宝马已经在英国投资了17.5亿英镑(折合29亿美金),并计划在2012到2015年间追加投资7.5亿英镑。另外宝马旗下豪车品牌劳斯莱斯(Rolls-Royce)的主要组装地正是在英国的古德伍德工厂,劳斯莱斯的大多数机械部件都是从欧洲大陆运到那里进行组装的。

    随着MINI的全球销量达到每年30万辆,牛津工厂每年17.5万辆的产量已经不能满足市场需求,其余部分只能承包给奥地利MSF Graz公司和荷兰VDL Nedcar公司的工厂生产。

    评测人士对这款最新的MINI车型的评价普遍比较正面,认为它的加速能力不错,作为一款前驱轿车,操控性也令人满意。后排空间虽然不是特别大,但是比起之前的两门版车型已经有了很大的改观。

    评测人士还指出,MINI的售价要显著高于本田(Honda)和福特(Ford)等竞争对手的同级车型。它的最低配起价就达到22,300美元,顶配售价甚至高达近4万美元。

    《人车志》杂志(Car and Driver)撰稿人恰巴•西尔给这款新车型打了很高的“视觉创意”分数,指出“这款MINI骨子里是一台宝马。”

    换句话说,MINI的车主获得了很多宝马的技术和工艺,但其售价不像宝马那样高。这种多管齐下的战略取得了很好的效果,也为宝马公司带来了丰厚的财务业绩。宝马股价增幅超过了工业平均水平,更不用提其它的汽车业竞争对手了。

    MINI可能看起来是个令人忍俊不禁的英伦时尚小憨豆,但它令宝马的投资者们笑得更开心,更不用说宝马的创始人匡特家族了。(财富中文网)

    译者:朴成奎

    More than a few skeptical voices were raised in 1994 when BMW bought the failed assets of British Motor Corporation. BMW left the Brits mostly alone until 2000, disposing of Rover and Land Rover when that strategy failed.

    BMW decided to hang on to MINI and fix it.

    Since 2000, BMW has infused a healthy dose of engineering and manufacturing in the brand, creating vehicles with the taut feel and performance that made Bimmers famous. The trick was doing so while preserving MINI’s distinctive English personality – no mean feat given the car’s deep connection to BMW labs and studios in Germany.

    In early September, BMW celebrated its three-millionth MINI at the main factory in Oxford, U.K., and introduced its latest variant, a four-door hardtop (which it calls a “five door”) with a roomier rear seat. Given the sales numbers so far, BMW has increased its recognition for the ability to manage multiple brands efficiently and profitably.

    Of the three million, two million have been exported from England. Many Britons view with relief the decision finally to sell to BMW, following years of bailouts and subsidies for British automakers that weren’t competitive. MINI exports have been a major boost to the economy and a source of pride for the country.

    “The MINI is a British icon and is a major part of a thriving automotive industry spearheading the growing British economy,” said Baroness Susan Kramer, Minister of Transport. “This government is working to create the right environment for car manufacturers like BMW to continue innovating and developing British-made cars with worldwide appeal.”

    Harald Kruger, board member for manufacturing, said BMW has invested £1.75 billion pounds ($2.9 billion) in its British operations since 2000 and another £750 million from 2012 through 2015. The German automaker also owns Rolls-Royce and assembles the luxury automobile in a plant located in Goodwood, England, most of the heavy and mechanical parts shipped there from the continent.

    With worldwide MINI sales running at about 300,000 annually, the 175,000-unit capacity at Oxford has been supplemented by contract manufacturing in Austria by MSF Graz and in the Netherlands by VDL Nedcar.

    Reviewers have been positive on the newest variant, giving the car credit for peppy acceleration and taut handling from its front-wheel-drive configuration. The back seat, while not overly spacious, is a vast improvement over the much smaller space in previous, two-door models.

    Reviewers also noted that MINI costs considerably more than like-size competitors from Honda and Ford, starting at $22,300 for the basic version and rising in price to nearly $40,000 with all possible options and enhancements.

    Writing for Car and Driver, Csaba Csere gave the new model high marks for “visual creativity,” noting that “this MINI is essentially a BMW under its skin.”

    In other words, a MINI buyer gets a lot of BMW technology and engineering without paying as much as a BMW costs. This multi-pronged approach to the automotive market has paid off handsomely, helping to deliver superior financial results. BMW’s shares have outpaced major industrial averages, not to mention competitive automakers.

    MINI may seem like a quirky little automotive fashion statement that makes people smile. It makes investors, not to mention BMW’s founding Quandt family, smile even more.

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