Ni men hao Ladies and Gentlemen and thank you for your warm welcome! I’m delighted to be back in Shanghai!
Shanghai is without a doubt one of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant cities in China. On the international stage it is a hub for fashion, culture and trends. MINI thrives in such a city because it too is always on the pulse and ahead of the trend curve. And once again MINI has taken an emerging trend, made it stylish and brought it into the car environment. More on that soon, but first a quick update on MINI worldwide.
MINI has had a great start this year. Our first quarter global sales were impressive: with a new all-time high in the number of cars sold. More than 74,000 customers got behind the wheel of a new MINI so far this year. This is an increase of more than 28 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2014.
China plays an important role within the brand’s global success. More than 30,000 Chinese customers chose MINI last year. I would like to thank all our MINI fans in China for their trust and for making China the brand’s fourth-largest market, after the US, the UK and Germany.
We aim to continue this success story together in the year 2015 and beyond.
This will be driven by the brand’s youngest model line-up in years. This year’s highlight is certain to be the unveiling of the new MINI Clubman. I’m really looking forward to this car! Its fresh, modern design and extra flexibility will give the brand another major boost.
For over 55 years, MINI has continuously set new standards and been a trendsetter in the automotive world. In 2015 connectivity and digitalisation of all aspects of life are top priorities for consumers. Wearable technology is one of the most exciting areas in the consumer tech scene. In the vision I will present to you now, MINI takes the concept of smart glasses a step further, taking the benefits of “augmented reality” to a whole new level by merging real and virtual worlds in and outside the car.
I am delighted to celebrate the world premiere of MINI Augmented Vision with you today.
MINI Augmented Vision is the very first data eyewear to project vehicle information directly into the driver’s field of vision. In combination with MINI Connected, this offers a really cool way to experience the advantages of augmented reality in the car.
The driver sees the desired information in an intuitive way. The main advantage of this “see-through technology” is that drivers don’t have to take their eyes off the road: The glasses superimpose relevant data on the reality of the road – but, unlike other data eyewear, always remain transparent.
What can these glasses do? First: They act like a wearable head-up display. They show the navigation directions with arrows, they show the speed of the car and current speed limits, all in the primary field of vision.
Where the glasses become really ‘smart’ is when they highlight points of interest on your route. This could be a new restaurant, or a cinema showing the latest releases, and then you could be directed by the glasses to the nearest parking spot. But the most ground-breaking feature is the x-ray view, which makes the side panel of the car appear transparent. The Augmented Vision technology provides a virtual view through parts of the vehicle, meaning the end of tricky blind spots when turning a corner.
After you’ve parked the car, the glasses can be worn to complete your journey, navigating you on foot to your destination. In a city the size of Shanghai this means that you and your MINI will never get lost. These smart glasses by MINI will give you a glimpse of the future of driving, today.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Now I’d like to come back to the present.
As you all know, MINI can look back on a long motorsport tradition. It is still a true sporting icon, we are very happy about four consecutive wins at the legendary Dakar Rally. For all our customers who want to experience racetrack feeling on the road, we offer our John Cooper Works range. Today, we have brought along the newest member of this high-performance family.
Please join me in welcoming the most powerful MINI ever built, the new MINI John Cooper Works, and the global Head of MINI, Sebastian Mackensen.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It’s great to be back in Shanghai!
Two years ago, we presented the first John Cooper Works model for the Chinese market. Today I am delighted to celebrate the Chinese premiere of the all new MINI John Cooper Works with you! I know that the motorsport fans among our customers are eagerly awaiting this car. Our highly-exclusive John Cooper Works models are becoming more and more popular here in China. This is reflected in a strong increase in sales figures last year. I am very confident that models like this will thrill our motorsport fans and win new customers for John Cooper Works.
This car is in a league of its own, and undoubtedly the best sports car in its segment. Under the bonnet, you’ll find the most powerful engine ever used in a MINI. It offers a maximum output of 231 hp and maximum torque of 320 Newton metres. This makes for impressive acceleration: The new model has a zero-to-100 time of only 6.1 seconds. We have increased the cubic capacity, output, sprint performance and torque considerably. At the same time, we’ve reduced fuel consumption by almost 20 percent! Our engineers have used only the best of the best here, applying technologies direct from motorsports.
The new MINI John Cooper Works is a fantastic new addition to our established motorsports range.
2015 is going to be a MINI year! I am looking forward to it.