Category: Mini News

MINI mishap? Bumped BMW? It’s your call where you send your car to for repair and Bowker have it covered, as Matthew Parkinson explains.

Until it happens to you, you’ve likely never considered what happens next after an accident in your car.  I’d probably do the same as most people and call my insurance company. But what’s the alternative?

In the event of your BMW or MINI needing repair following an accident, the decision lies with you, and not your insurer, as to who takes care of it. By choosing a BMW or MINI Approved Bodyshop, your car will be returned to its original Euro NCAP safety rating,

By making Bowker your first call, their Accident Management team will handle everything with minimal fuss from start to finish, making sure you’re safe before liaising with your insurance company, organising the recovery of your car, arranging a like-for-like replacement car if the accident wasn’t your fault, and even providing medical and legal aid if you’re injured as a result. Your car will then be handed over to their Approved Bodyshop for an estimation of the damage before work begins.

Located a stone’s throw away from Bowker on the Preston Docklands is BMW & MINI Approved Bodyshop, HB Panelcraft. The family business is headed up by Paul Harwood, whose fastidious eye for detail helped forge a partnership with Bowker back in 1996. Paul guides us around cars at various stages of repair, from minor cosmetic jobs to ground-up rebuilds, drawing attention to a gleaming BMW 6 Series that’s nearing completion in the body shop’s paint booth. “You sometimes see cars like this starting to corrode in unusual places, because whoever did the original repair hasn’t used genuine, galvanised parts,” explains Paul. “Everything we do is approved by BMW and MINI Group.” All body repairs come with a lifetime guarantee for the duration of ownership and you are issued with a Guarantee Certificate giving you peace of mind that you and your vehicle are completely protected.

Having earned BMW and MINI national certification, HB Panelcraft are kitted out for all manner of repairs, boasting up to date diagnostic machinery and panels protected with the same galvanisation used on brand new vehicles – even the paint is sourced from BMW Group to ensure a perfect colour match. It’s because of this manufacturer backing that unlike many independent garages, your car’s bodywork warranty will remain intact, no matter how bad the damage was to begin with. If it can be repaired, it can be guaranteed.

The devil is in the detail for the team at HB Panelcraft, who inspect each stage of the vehicle repair process in the same way BMW and MINI technicians would inspect brand new cars on an assembly line. The phrase ‘that’ll do’ just doesn’t exist within these four walls, and for good reason. Like each car that passes through the workshop, Paul and his team are subject to their own set of quality control checks. Each year, they’re assessed by BMW and MINI to make sure that the workshop, its staff, their tools and their attitudes meet the brand’s exacting standards. It’s testament to their hard work that since the start of their partnership with Bowker 22 years ago, they’ve passed with flying colours each and every year.

The phrase ‘good as new’ is often banded around recklessly, but I can’t imagine a more honest description of the freshly repaired cars being readied for their respective owners. The partnership between Bowker and HB Panelcraft has created a one-stop-shop for repairs that BMW and MINI owners can trust from start to fuss-free finish.

There’s no escaping the fact that in an ideal world there wouldn’t be any accidents, and any decent human being would hope that this is a service you won’t need to use. If you’re going to call anyone when your day comes to a screeching halt however, make sure it’s Bowker.


Credit to Live Magazines – 

From September 2018, all cars must have been homologated under the new WLTP (Worldwide Hamonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure) test cycle which is designed to better replicate real life driving conditions.

BMW Group has now published revised fuel economy and emissions data for its entire range of vehicles in accordance with the new test procedure (WLTP). This means the full range of BMW and MINI vehicles sold in the UK is now fully compliant with the new test regime well ahead of the deadline.

The new testing procedure of WLTP is based on an approximation of the test conditions to real-world circumstances, which means that the values determined will also have a greater relevance to reality. Among the changes this involves are redefined, significantly stricter test conditions and higher speeds together with a substantially longer test duration (30 instead of 20 minutes). 

To obtain a more precise determination of CO2 emissions, the new test procedure includes not only standard equipment – as was previously the case – but also all optional equipment of a vehicle. This produces two values for each type of vehicle: the lowest and highest possible standard consumption value according to aerodynamics, weight and rolling resistance.

Thanks to WLTP, you will be able to better assess a vehicle’s consumption and CO2 emissions in the future. In the case of a specific vehicle configuration, the individual standard value will be indicated directly.

Despite the more stringent test requirements, the BMW range has increased on average by just 8g/km while the MINI average increase is just 5g/km.* BMW’s market-leading electric and plug-in hybrid range performed particularly well with the top-selling BMW 530e Saloon increasing by just 3 grams to 49g/km.

Customers can have confidence that the full range of BMW Group vehicles is compliant with the new testing requirements and offers a more compelling value proposition than ever. Buyers can also be sure that the figures supplied for all our vehicles are future-proof providing certainty in terms of future cost.

You can find out more about WLTP and the movement within each Series here.

*For Spartanburg production models (X3, X4, X5 and X6), technical changes are effective from 01 August 2018.

The management team at Bowker Motor Group has raised over £1,000 for Burnley FC in the Community at this year’s Asda Foundation Burnley 10K running race.

Despite eleventh hour injuries to two of the Bowker team, the remaining five – representing Bowker BMW, MINI and aftersales on the Blackburn – all completed the course.

Bowker Blackburn managing director Chris Eccles said: “We’ve all trained hard. And the last minute injuries to two of the team members made us even more determined to successfully complete the challenge.

“It’s the first time we’ve entered a running challenge as a group, and everyone in the management team mentioned what a great event it was. We supported each other and we’re all especially grateful for everyone who supported us and donated.”

The sixth annual Burnley 10K race took place on Sunday July 15th, beginning and finishing in Towneley Park, outside Towneley Hall in Burnley.

Bowker Motor Group enlisted the help of Jamie Kennedy at Burnley-based Fitness Experience with some assistance with training and nutrition. All the competitors were monitored using a digital smartphone app and offered tailored advice in the build up to the race.

Earlier this year Bowker Motor Group became official vehicle supplier of Burnley FC in the Community (BFCitC); sourcing a fleet of four vehicles. Bowker Motor Group also sponsored the charity’s annual fundraising dinner in April.

Bowker 10K fundraising page can be found at

July 2018


Soon we’ll be giving you the chance to book a test drive in the MINI 1499 GT. But you’ll have to act fast because there’s only 1,499 limited editions available. Don’t miss out on your chance to get behind the wheel of this exciting, sporty new MINI that’s set to be a future classic.

Act fast. Get on the list. Complete the enquiry form on this page & we will get back to you or alternatively you can call Bowker Preston MINI on 01772 761234 or Bowker Blackburn MINI on 01254 274333.

  • Flexible vehicle architecture to enable electrification of every model series
  • Fully electric MINI confirmed as MINI 3 door variant
  • Electric drivetrain Made in Germany, integrated into car in Oxford

Electrification is one of the central pillars of the BMW Group’s corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT and the company has announced that all brands and model series can be electrified, with a full-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain being offered in addition to the combustion engine option. Additional electrified models will be brought to market in the coming years and beyond 2020, the company’s next generation vehicle architecture will enable further fully-electric vehicles.

Today, the BMW Group announced that the new battery-electric MINI will be a variant of the brand’s core 3 door model. This fully electric car will go into production in 2019, increasing the choice of MINI powertrains to include petrol and diesel internal combustion engines, a plug-in hybrid and a battery electric vehicle. The electric MINI’s electric drivetrain will be built at the BMW Group’s e-mobility centre at Plants Dingolfing and Landshut in Bavaria before being integrated into the car at Plant Oxford, which is the main production location for the MINI 3 door model.

Oliver Zipse, BMW AG Management Board member for Production said, “BMW Group Plants Dingolfing and Landshut play a leading role within our global production network as the company’s global competence centre for electric mobility. Our adaptable production system is innovative and able to react rapidly to changing customer demand. If required, we can increase production of electric drivetrain motor components quickly and efficiently, in line with market developments.”

By 2025, the BMW Group expects electrified vehicles to account for between 15-25% of sales. However, factors such as regulation, incentives and charging infrastructure will play a major role in determining the scale of electrification from market to market. In order to react quickly and appropriately to customer demand, the BMW Group has developed a uniquely flexible system across its global production network. In the future, the BMW Group production system will create structures that enable our production facilities to build models with a combustion engine, plug-in hybrid or fully electric drive train at the same time.

The BMW Group currently produces electrified models at ten plants worldwide; since 2013, all the significant elements of the electric drivetrain for these vehicles come from the company’s plants in Dingolfing and Landshut. Dingolfing additionally builds the plug-in hybrid versions of the BMW 5 Series and the BMW 7 Series and from 2021, it will build the BMW i NEXT. The BMW Group has invested a total of more than 100 million euros in electro-mobility at the Dingolfing site to date, with investment continuing as the BMW Group’s range of electrified vehicles further expands.

Electrification of all brands and model series continues

The new, fully-electric MINI is one of a series of electrified models to be launched by the BMW and MINI brands in the coming years. In 2018, the BMW i8 Roadster will become the newest member of the BMW i family. The all-electric BMW X3 has been announced for 2020, and the BMW iNEXT is due in 2021.

Today, the BMW Group offers the widest range of electrified vehicles of any car manufacturer in the world, with nine models already on the market. These range from the full-electric BMW i3 to the company’s newest electrified model, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4*, a plug-in hybrid version of the MINI Countryman, which is produced by VDL Nedcar in the Netherlands. The company has committed to selling 100,000 electrified vehicles in 2017 and will have a total of 200,000 electrified vehicles on the roads by the end of the year.

The BMW Group has benefited from its early start on the road to electrification. Indeed, the company’s pioneering, large scale electric vehicle trial began world-wide in 2008 with the MINI E. Learnings from this project played a crucial role in the subsequent development of the BMW i3 and BMW i8, technology pioneers which themselves informed the company’s current range of plug-in hybrid vehicles.


*: Fuel consumption in the EU test cycle: 2.3 – 2.1 litres/100 km, CO2 emissions: 52 – 49 g/km

Bowker Blackburn MINI surprised the Little Mix star, Jade Thirlwall’s mother, on Christmas morning by delivering a brand new grey MINI Cooper Hatch! 

Little Mix’s tour manager got in touch with Dave Pope, our sales executive for Bowker Blackburn BMW and MINI, after Jade said she wanted to surprise her mother at Christmas with a new car.

Dave says, “I’ve been a friend of the Little Mix tour manager for a while. And he’s bought a car from me in the past. He called me to tell me that a member of the band wanted to surprise her mum at Christmas with a new car. So we started talking about the best way to go about it.

“Jade took an active interest. She knew exactly how she wanted the car to look as it was a special gift for her Mum.  She was very specific about the colour for example. So, it took a  few different cars to get exactly the right one.

“In the end Jade chose a MINI Cooper Hatch. It’s a great car and an automatic. We built the car using the MINI website to show Jade exactly how it would look. And we explained all the extras.

“The car she chose was off site. So we brought it to the dealership to take it through all the safety checks and prepare for delivery. Then we organised a transporter to a secret location for the grand reveal. We were sworn to secrecy. All our discussions were confidential.

“I think you can see from the reaction on the video on social media that Jade’s Mum had no idea about the surprise. She sounds delighted. I hope she loves the car. That’s what it’s all about.

“We try to treat all Bowker customers like global celebrities. So Jade got a great deal and service just like everyone does!”

Two Lancashire MINI centres have backed a North West cycling adventurer’s bid to become the first person in history to complete the Giro D’Italia on a ‘Fat Bike’.

38 year-old Dave Sims hit national news headlines in 2015 when he became the first person to complete the Tour de France route on a chopper bicycle.

And now, Bowker MINI in Blackburn and Preston will provide Dave’s principal support vehicle during his new Italian challenge in May later this year.

Bowker MINI celebrated the link up with Dave at the launch of the New MINI Countryman on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th February. Dave was a VIP guest at the Bowker MINI event at Brockholes nature reserve in Preston.

For Bowker, group marketing manager, Amy Lancaster, said:

“Everyone knows about Dave’s incredible Tour de France challenge on a chopper a couple of years ago. It was an immense effort. But his latest challenge is even tougher – and 800 miles further. He’ll need all the support he can get.

“We’re proud to be backing him. We wanted to work alongside someone who represented the Countryman’s spirit of adventure. And Dave was the perfect fit. We’re especially delighted that Dave joined us for the launch of the new MINI Countryman.

The total distance of the Giro d’Italia – the 100th time the race has been contested – is 2400 miles over 21 stages. The route takes in both the Dolomite and Alpine mountain ranges.

Dave’s fat bike has been exclusively designed by Clitheroe-based Beacon Bikes. Fat bikes are recognisable by their 3.8 inch-wide tyres. The fat tyres are built to allow riding on soft unstable terrain. Dave’s Italian challenge will take in both road and off road segments.

Dave said,

“It’s another challenge that is going to push me to the limit. The bike is even more striking than the chopper. And it’ll need to be at its best for the wide variety of technical challenges I’ll face.

“‘I am very grateful for Bowker MINI’s support. I know I’ll need all the help I can get. It’s the toughest challenge of my life. I just hope I can repay the faith my sponsors and supporters have put in me!”

Dave’s last challenge raised £12,000 for Help the Heroes. This time he is hoping that The Italian Job will raise a further £10,000 for the same charity.

More information about Dave’s challenge is available on Twitter @MPCdave, Facebook @italianjob2017 or Instagram @italianjob2017

When it comes to the upkeep of your car, servicing plays a vital role. Make sure you’re signed up to a servicing programme you can trust, writes Emma Brereton.

The region’s largest state-of-the-art BMW and MINI Aftersales Centre has just opened on Preston Docklands. The new Bowker Aftersales Centre is situated next to the existing Bowker BMW and MINI centres on a 6.5 acre site on Watery Lane in Preston.

This new development is yet another commitment to providing the very best aftersales care to customers. High levels of customer service extend far beyond the purchase of your vehicle and this is reflected with a current customer rating of 4.7/5.

In a break with traditional opening ceremonies, the family-owned motor group has dedicated the Bowker Aftersales Centre opening to its apprentices.

Bowker Motor Group aftersales director Jonathan Rogan said: “We’ve dedicated the Aftersales Centre opening to our Preston apprentices. It’s a simple gesture to recognise the important role they – and all our staff – play in the future of the business.

“With such a massive investment, it would be easy to focus on the bricks, mortar and equipment. But this will transform the way we all work in the future. And our apprentices are a big part of that.”

For customers, the impact of the new Aftersales Centre cannot be underestimated. It is the size of a football pitch and with 30 ramps, car servicing times are now even shorter and servicing capacity has tripled. This means that customers can enjoy even more flexibility and convenience including 24/7 online service booking, while-you-wait servicing, drop-and-go, free local collection and delivery, courtesy cars, wash and vacuum with all work, complimentary wi-fi and a customer lounge with complete with refreshments.

Jonathan continued: “We want our customers to know they are in safe hands, especially when that car leaves the forecourt. The investment Bowker has made is centred around this feeling. A car is a big purchase so make sure you spend your money with a company who appreciates the custom and looks after you once you’ve taken delivery.”

The seven-figure investment in the new Aftersales Centre offers the latest servicing technology including machines which measure tyre tread instantly and wheel alignment in just 90 seconds. And that’s a first for the North West.

“The new facility has a simple focus on creating an even better aftersales experience for our customers,” explains Jonathan. “We can now combine our usual friendly advice with same-day servicing. Furthermore, the increase in capacity means appointments aren’t always necessary. We know our customers lead busy lives so we hope this additional flexibility will make a big difference.”

The opening of the new Aftersales Centre has coincided with national recognition for

Bowker Motor Group’s exceptional performance in aftersales customer satisfaction.

“It’s an amazing site,” says Jonathan. “With 30 ramps, two dedicated MOT lanes and a new laser wheel alignment machine, we are proud to say our car servicing times have reduced and servicing capacity has tripled. This is a huge achievement in itself and we know the new centre will help us to deliver continued excellent customer service.”

Bowker Apprentice Ceara Holmes is one of the six apprentices. She said;

“It’s incredible to see the massive changes here in such a short time. It’s fun to be part of it. I think everyone is enjoying working in the new Aftersales Centre. There’s much more space, and some of the equipment is the most advanced in the country.

“I am lucky to work somewhere where there is so much to learn and for a company who believes in its apprentices so much.”

“The developments in technology are really exciting. We can’t wait for customers old and new to see our fabulous new Centre.” Jonathan adds.

Their BMW and MINI centres on Trident Park in Blackburn and on the docks in Preston have recently finished first and second respectively out of more than 40 similar sized centres in the North. The accolade is awarded by BMW UK and is driven by customer feedback over a six-month period.

Credit: Live Magazines

It's our 10th anniversary

We invite you to our family fun weekend on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 May 2016 as we celebrate our BMW and MINI Centres’ 10 year anniversary on Trident Park in Blackburn.

Take advantage of our FREE 10 minute wash and vacuum for your car. Booking recommended by calling 01254 274444.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

• American style diner food from ‘The Dog House’
• BMW technology demonstrations
• Behind the scenes Workshop tours
• Indoor go-karts and facepainting for children
• Win a MotorSport Track Day or Spa Day for Two
• Celebratory offers on New and Approved Used BMW & MINI
• Classic and rare BMWs & MINIs on display. (BMW Z8, BMW Z1, BMW 3.0 CSL and a MINI Challenge)

Bowker Blackburn BMW & MINI
Trident Park, off Whitebirk Drive, Blackburn, BB1 3NU.