Category: News

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tap into your mini

Maximise your MINI experience with the new MINI App. Thanks to its array of clever features, you can plan journeys more easily than ever before. Start from the comfort of your couch by planning your route from the app, then send it directly to your MINI’s infotainment system so you’re ready to go. Plus, you can use the MINI App on your smartphone to track down where you’ve parked and even check whether you locked your doors. And when your next service is due, the app will ping you a notification to remind you to get booked in with your Bowker MINI Centre. Download it here.

*The MINI App is compatible with all MINI vehicles from the March 2018 model year onwards in conjunction with the option ConnectedDrive Services and a compatible smartphone. For the best in-app experience, vehicles will need to be equipped with Remote Services. The availability and functions of the MINI App may vary depending on the country. 

5 MINI APP HIGHLIGHTS.

● Instant access to your MINI’s status

● Direct access to your MINI Service Centre

● Clever features and functions for electric models

● Easy and efficient journey planning with navigation and maps

● Regular upgrades with exciting new features and functions

CHECK YOUR MINI’S STATUS.

The MINI App’s ‘Vehicle’ gives you visibility of your MINI’s status. Check when your next service is due, how much oil is in the engine and even whether the doors are locked or not, all from the MINI App your smartphone.

It includes the following functions:

  • Vehicle Info
  • Vehicle Status (oil check/service required notification)
  • Remote Services (vehicle search, lock/unlock doors
  • Ventilation/Climate Control
  • Link to MINI Driver’s Guide

And if you drive MINI Electric or MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid you get these additional functions:

  • E-mobility features such as Remaining Range incl. Charging Status
  • Charge & Climate Timer
  • Charging History
  • Scan & Charge (convenient access to MINI charging)

ADD YOUR MINI TO THE MINI APP IN JUST A FEW EASY STEPS.

PERFECT JOURNEY PLANNING.

Head to the ‘map’ tab for information about upcoming journeys, locations, destinations and useful information en route. It includes:

  • Map Search
  • Category Search
  • Free Text Search
  • Dealer Search
  • Charging Station Search plus Details
  • Points of Interest Search (POIs)
  • Destination Details
  • Favourites incl. Home and Work
  • Parking Detail Screen 
  • Send-to-car Destinations
  • Share Location from another app

EVERYTHING IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

The MINI App helps to make your experience easier and more efficient than ever. Create a personal profile, check out frequently asked questions and even find helpful information about roadside assistance – all in one place. Included are features such as:

  • Personal Profile
  • Settings
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Financial Services
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Report a Problem

YOUR MINI, MANAGED.

Take care of your MINI’s servicing needs with ease. Use the MINI App to manage maintenance requirements, and get push notifications when a service is due. You can even schedule appointments and request roadside assistance directly through the app. It includes: 

  • Service Alerts
  • Recall Alerts
  • Contact your Preferred Dealer
  • Online Appointment Scheduling
  • Roadside Assistance
 

The MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW is the new Safety Car for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship race series. As such, it connects the brand’s electrified future with the rich racing history of John Cooper Works. The car was created out of the new MINI Electric as part of an unprecedented collaboration between MINI Design, BMW Motorsport, the FIA and the Formula E.

Electric drive meets John Cooper Works.

“We have already shown how well driving fun and electric mobility go together with the MINI Electric,” says Bernd Körber, Head of MINI. “However, the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW goes at least a step further and blends the performance character of the John Cooper Works brand with electric mobility.

This extreme version of the MINI Electric has been developed as the Safety Car in the Formula E, so is clearly not intended for use on public roads. But it does reveal one of the directions we could take with the electrification of the JCW brand. For me, the message is clear: electrification and John Cooper Works are a good fit.”

Dynamism maximised – the exterior design.

The exterior of the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW has been purpose-built for life on the track and represents the most dynamic interpretation yet of a MINI with all-electric power. “The design is an exciting symbiosis of technical precision and emotion,” explains Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. “Here, function dictates form, and many design elements have been shaped by technical considerations.

For example, we worked closely with our colleagues at BMW Motorsport to develop the form of the wheel arches and front and rear aprons, and the optimisation programme for them included weight-saving measures. This visually striking, technically precise design language gives the car its pervasive sense of emotional engagement and excitement.”

At the front of the car, classic MINI icons such as the circular headlights and hexagonal radiator grille create the familiar, easily recognisable MINI face. At the same time, signature John Cooper Works elements, such as wheel arches adapted to the car’s track width and the deep front apron with additional front splitters to the left and right, enhance the sporting visuals of the front end. The blanked off “radiator grille” and MINI Electric logo point to the electric “heart” of the Safety Car.

As virtually no drive system cooling is required through the upper area of the grille, the front end is largely enclosed to aid aerodynamics. The only exceptions are the area below the grille and the eye-catching, almost squared-off apertures for brake cooling. The Safety Car’s white flashing lights are integrated harmoniously into the bonnet. Characteristic MINI bonnet stripes extend over the roof to the rear end.

Showcasing MINI’s racing genes – the flanks.

The MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW also cuts an extremely dynamic figure from the side. The interplay of geometrically accentuated spats (with carefully placed aero edges) and sporty side skirts gives the car the appearance of powering forward even before it turns a wheel. Together with the increased-diameter wheels, which almost fill the wheel arches, these elements strengthen the time-honoured MINI “stance on the wheels”. The spats and spoilers are made – or more precisely 3D printed from recycled carbon fibre – in Oxford.

Yellow accent lines and surfaces on the aero elements (e.g. the spats, skirts and rear wing) provide a nod to the airflow optimisation taking place in these areas and add a visual flourish to the air deflectors and aero edges. The lightweight 18-inch forged wheels in bi-colour black-neon/orange design bring significant visual depth and added intricacy to the four-spoke items from the MINI John Cooper Works GP.

The respective colour worlds of the MINI Electric and John Cooper Works brand merge into a single statement here. The main body colour is a matt silver which extends back beyond the centre-point of the car. A high-gloss wrap with a two-stage colour gradient – from Highspeed Orange to Curbside Red metallic – then covers the rest of the body to the rear.

The contrast between matt and gloss surfaces brings extra smoothness to the silhouette, while the clear, diagonal separation lines between the different colours injects further dynamism. On the flanks, a chequered flag-inspired pattern shares the stage with a large MINI Electric logo, which can also be found in the radiator grille, on the roof and at the rear end. The Safety Car brief also brings regulations-specific and sponsor-related graphics, which add further visual intensity to the car’s racing character.

Broad and eye-catching – the rear.

The rear end in black and Curbside Red metallic uses yellow accent surfaces to extend the eye-catching design language from the front end and flanks, and makes an extremely modern and dynamic statement. The prominent roof-mounted rear wing with air through-flow and yellow accent lines also integrates the signal light unit and was 3D printed at Plant Oxford. The flared wheel arches accentuate the car’s wide track and transition seamlessly into the pronounced rear apron. The rear apron has cut-outs around the wheels, clearing the view to the higher-grip racing tyres. Between the wheels sits an unadorned diffuser. When the car is viewed from this angle, the accents in Energetic Yellow and lack of exhaust tailpipes identify this as a car powered by an electric drive system.

Reduced to the max – the interior.

The interior is stripped back to the absolute essentials; only the front seats remain. The driver’s area consists of a certified seat with six-point belt approved for both racing and road use, a steering wheel with minimalist-design carbon fibre impact absorber and a digital instrument cluster. The central information display makes way for a carbon fibre cover here to further reduce weight. The centre console houses the gearshift lever, handbrake and controls for the necessary signal lights – all in exposed carbon fibre.

The likewise pared-back carbon-fibre door panels with window and door openers contain cloth straps to make closing the doors easier. Another central feature of the interior is the welded-in roll cage, which maximises safety. And the remainder of the stripped-out interior structure is also painted in typical racing white (for functional reasons).

Bespoke 3D-printed parts for the interior.

The steering wheel’s minimalist impact absorber and the boost panel on the right-hand side of the wheel are high-quality, custom-made components, likewise the centre console cowling and door panelling on the driver’s side. Another highlight are the removable pads on the sport seat, which are likewise 3D-printed and whose innovative structure combines comfort, robustness and modularity. The thickness, hardness and colour of the pads can be adapted as required according to the physiognomy, weight and personal taste of the driver at hand.

Ready for the race track, helped by knowhow from BMW Motorsport.

Behind the visually powerful design of the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW lies the expertise of BMW Motorsport. Rigorous adherence to lightweight design principles gives the Safety Car a kerb weight of approx. 1,230 kg – which makes it approx. 130 kg lighter than the standard MINI Electric.

The drive system – also based on that found in the MINI Electric – produces 135 kW and 280 Nm (206 lb-ft), which enables the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW to sprint from 0-62 mph in 6.7 seconds (standard model: 7.3 s) and from 0-37 mph in 3.6 seconds (standard model: 3.9 s). Even more important for a Safety Car, though, are the mid-range figures. Here, the MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW showcases all the talents of its torque-rich electric drive system with single-speed transmission, enabling a 75 mph time of 4.3 seconds (standard model: 4.6 s).

The drive system teams up with racing coilover suspension (three-way adjustable for rebound, compression, height and camber) to deliver maximum go-kart feeling. Race-spec suspension control arm mountings, a 10 mm increase in track width, plus the four-piston brakes and wheels from the MINI John Cooper Works GP with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres (size 245/40 R18) round off the overall package.

Premiere at the Rome E-Prix on 10.04.2021

The MINI Electric Pacesetter inspired by JCW will come into use in Rome on 10 April 2021 at the second event (Race 3) of Formula E’s 2021 season. At the wheel will be official Formula E Safety Car driver Bruno Correia, as BMW i Andretti Motorsport drivers Maximilian Guenther (GER) and Jake Dennis (GBR) battle it out for victory in their BMW iFE.21 racers.

“Agility, performance and a cool looking car. The MINI Electric Pacesetter Safety Car of FIA Formula E World Championship has got it all. Very fun to drive, it feels like karting”, said Correia.

A lot of MINI Electric is what you know and love about the MINI Hatch already. Its iconic design and legendary responsive handling. The innovative tech. The ability to customise it to your taste (did we mention the six handsome colour options available?). But the new fully electric motor takes things to a whole new level. So, if you’re looking for a car that’s all torque, as well as action, then let us introduce the latest MINI Electric. It feels better than ever, with immediate oomph thanks to instant torque. And it looks better than ever too. With a sharper, sleeker update to its legendary MINI look and, of course, that MINI Electric feeling.

REASONS TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO mini ELECTRIC.

Now MINI Electric is here, you can make the switch to electric without losing any of the things you love about MINI. Need any more reasons to make the switch to MINI Electric? Read on.

MINI Electric makes your money go further

ELECTRIC COSTS LESS.

The cost of electricity can be up to two thirds less than what you’re paying for petrol or diesel. When it comes to cost per mile, the news gets even better. Compared to a traditional petrol or diesel car, going fully electric could cut costs by up to three quarters or more. MINI Electric makes your money go further too. At just 4p per mile, it’s around 2.5 to 6 times cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel.

MINI Electric makes your money go further.

ELECTRIC CAR CHARGING POINTS.

Charging MINI Electric is just as easy on the go. The UK network of public charging points is growing every day. And MINI Navigation will plan your route taking into account the 9,000+ charging points already available across the UK.

MINI have partnered with bp pulse, meaning MINI Electric drivers can charge up easily at over 7,000 public charging points using both AC and Rapid DC chargers.

CLEANER MEANS GREENER.

Bid farewell to traditional fuels and start living a little greener? With zero exhaust emissions, you’re creating less pollution as you drive. And by switching to a sustainable energy supplier, like MINI’s partner OVO Energy, you can reduce your environmental impact even more.

LOW MAINTENANCE MILES.

An electric car motor is less complex than a combustion engine. And because there are fewer moving parts, it means there’s less wear and tear, so maintenance can be kept to a minimum. When it’s time for a service, we can help you keep the costs down too with our simple monthly payment plans.

MINI Electric makes your money go further.

FILL UP AT HOME.

With MINI Electric, you’ll wake up every morning raring to go. Just plug in to a standard home socket overnight to recharge the battery whilst you’re sleeping. If you want more efficient charging, we recommend installing a Wallbox at home.

With no noise from the engine, you feel more relaxed and connected to the world outside.

SMOOTHER, QUICKER, QUIETER.

One of the first things you notice when driving an electric car is how calm it feels inside. With no noise from the engine, you feel more relaxed and connected to the world outside. Without the need to change gear, accelerating feels smooth and effortless with instant torque from the electric motor. And when you put your foot down, there’s an immediate response and surge of speed that makes an electric vehicle ideal for city driving.

SAVE WITH A GOVERNMENT GRANT.

MINI Electric has been given a Category 1 rating by the government, which means you can receive a £2,500 grant towards the purchase price. Plus, if you’re buying a MINI Electric for your business, there’s a BIK rate of 0% from April 2020.

ZERO EMISSIONS.

As electric vehicles produce no emissions, they are exempt from Vehicle Emissions Duty (VED). In London, they are also exempt from the congestion charge, as long as drivers apply for the 100% discount. And exempt from the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) too.

If you’re looking for a car that’s all torque, as well as action, then let us introduce the latest MINI Electric.

MORE ABOUT MINI ELECTRIC.

FEELS LIKE ELECTRIC, LOOKS LIKE MINI.

 

A lot of MINI Electric is what you know and love about the MINI Hatch already. Its iconic design and legendary responsive handling. The innovative tech. The ability to customise it to your taste (did we mention the six handsome colour options available?). But the new fully electric motor takes things to a whole new level.

A charging solution for electric vehicle customers

We know that many Motability customers are interested in electric vehicles but are concerned with charging them. So, as part of the worry-free motoring package, the Motability Scheme are offering customers who place an application for full battery electric vehicles an ‘at home’ charge point at no additional cost, in partnership with BP Pulse.

If you don’t have access to off-street parking, then instead you’ll be given access to a network of charging points for easy on-street charging. 

What costs are involved?

There are no costs for BP Pulse to supply and install a home charge point, but if there is work required to gain access to your electricity supply then you’ll have to cover these costs. Also, customers are responsible for paying for the electricity used to charge their car.

If you would prefer to use an alternative supplier you can do so, but this will be at your own cost. Motability insist that customers have some sort of provision in place before they deliver an electric vehicle, this is to ensure your continued mobility throughout your lease. If you are considering an electric vehicle you will need to have access to a charge point to recharge the battery and pay for the electricity that is used.  

What will I need to do?

During your application for a full battery electric vehicle we will ask if you would like to take advantage of the charging solution. All you need to do is say yes, we will then pass your contact details onto BP Pulse.

You’ll then be contacted by BP Pulse directly who will arrange the provision of a charging solution.

You can discover the full range of cars on the Scheme here. If you are already a customer and are coming up to the end of your three-year contract, please contact one of our team and they will advise how to change to an electric vehicle.

Interested in Joining the Motability Scheme?

For more information about joining and possibly leasing one of the vehicles available on the scheme, we have Motability trained and award-winning specialists who are ready to answer your questions and help you choose your car. We’ll also guide you through the simple process and complete all the paperwork for you.

To find out more, please complete the form on this page and we’ll be in touch. Alternatively, call our friendly Motability specialists at Bowker Preston MINI on 01772 761234 or at Bowker Blackburn MINI on 01254 274333.

Introducing the first purely electric Gran Coupe.

The first purely electric Gran Coupé will take driving pleasure to new limits thanks to a range of up to 363 miles (WLTP)*. The four-door vehicle combines extraordinary performance with superb range to create a driving experience that’s perfect for both long-distance journeys and your everyday commutes.

Both powerful and smooth the BMW i4 delivers supreme performance with up to 530 hp, The Gran Coupé goes from zero to 62mph in just four seconds, and feels impressively smooth while driving. A model-specific damper technology will ensure that the instant acceleration is a stimulating yet controlled driving experience without any drive slip or course corrections.

Comfort for any distance. The purely electrically powered Gran Coupé offers new levels of versatility and is perfect for everyday use. The almost silent drive and the optimised suspension technology give the impression of a vehicle effortlessly gliding towards its destination, even at higher speeds and in more difficult traction conditions.

Rediscover corners, with optimised aerodynamics and a balanced weight distribution enable a high level of agility and precision – further increased by the fine-tuning of the drive and suspension components. Spring and damping systems will ensure optimum road contact and a high cornering stability.

Giving you room to move, a fully-fledged five-seater, the BMW i4 provides great seating comfort with generous space for head and legs in the back. A long wheelbase with short overhangs and a smooth roofline will define the sporty-elegant shape of the BMW Gran Coupé.

Enquire about the new BMW i4 ahead of it’s launch later this year by using the form provided.

*Figures are for comparison purposes and may not reflect real life driving results which depend on a number of factors including the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted (post registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. They were obtained after the battery had been fully charged. The BMW i4 is a battery electric vehicle requiring mains electricity for charging. The electric range was determined according to the WLTP test cycle. Only compare fuel consumption, CO2 and electric range figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedure.

This year, the theme for International Women’s Day “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the gaps that remain.

Bowker Motor Group is proud to employ many women who have helped to lead us through these uncertain times. To celebrate International Women’s Day we challenged them to share their proudest achievement and offer some advice in the spirit of equality and a better future.

Happy International Women’s Day!!

Amy Lancaster-Hall: Group Marketing Manager

Proudest achievement

Seeing my team’s dedication recognised when we win franchise marketing awards. There’s no better feeling.

Best advice

Be understanding, approachable and always offer to help.

Lauren Grigg: CRM Controller

Proudest achievement

I’m most proud of my travelling trip around the world! It was a life changing experience that had its highs and lows, and made me far more resilient. I met so many people from different backgrounds and visited some incredible, and breathtakingly beautiful, places! Growing up, I was always a shy and nervous person, and even now I can hardly believe that I managed to safely navigate my way around 15 countries, without losing my passport, luggage or friends! It will always be a huge highlight of my life which I will never forget. Each experience I had (including sky-diving at 16,000 feet, and bungee jumping off the highest bungee bridge in the world!) has helped me become the woman I am today, and for that I will always be grateful. 

Best advice

Always have ‘me time’ in between the stresses of life. Don’t be too hard on yourself! Eat the cake and drink the wine 🙂

Jennifer Sage: Group Marketing Executive

Proudest achievement

My proudest achievement is the fact that I used lockdown to learn many new things, from learning how to bake bread, pizza dough with stuffed crust and many Romanian desserts, to becoming a painter, decorator and plumber, completing a number of jobs around the house. During lockdown my partner and I also tried our hands at gardening, like many others, growing our own tomatoes, shallots and chillies.

Best advice

Be supportive, willing to listen and push yourself and others to reach their potential.

Aimee Keane: Group HR Manager

Proudest achievement

My proudest achievement is studying for my CIPD qualification while raising a young family and working full time. Although it was challenging, it gave me the opportunity to progress in my previous employment and opened the door to further progression in other businesses.
I was offered my current position during maternity leave with my 2nd child. I made the decision to return from maternity leave early to start my new challenge; working for an established family business in a job where I feel valued. I enjoy supporting the business and the employees.

Best advice

Support each other, always listen and offer an open-door policy. Continue personal progression – don’t wait for good things to happen, go get out there and make them happen 🙂

Katie Needham: New Car Sales Executive

Proudest achievement

During the pandemic, I found myself feeling quite low and hating the role I was in. While wiping tears away from my face, I picked up the phone and started contacting dealerships in my local area. I managed to secure a couple of interviews, one of them being at Bowker Motor Group.

Best advice

There is no such thing as a man’s world. When I first started in the motor trade, there were not many female salespeople. I was actually the first one at my first dealership, this pushed me on to do better. Just because you are the first at something or you feel like it’s male dominated, you can be the person that changes that. Since my start, the company has employed numerous women to join the team. Don’t be scared, if you don’t ask then the answer will always be no! Push yourself and always have faith in yourself. If a man can do it, chances are a woman will do it better!

Phillipa Wachter: Showroom Team Leader

Proudest achievement

Moving to Abu Dhabi at 23 on my own to start a career as Cabin Crew for Etihad Airways.

Best advice

Surround yourself with positive people and support other women in your company and your personal life.

We’ve outrun jet fighters, ended up in orbit, let children take over the dealership and received visitations through magic tins of beans.

Here, we take a trip down memory lane with the complete collection of Bowker Christmas Videos over the years.

Which one was your favourite?

2011 – 12 Days of Christmas

2012 Children Takeover the Dealership

2013 Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer

2014 Sproutometer

2015 Car-aoke

2015 Bowker Motor Group Christmas Car-aoke

Here it is! We're pleased to bring you the 2015 Bowker Motor Group Christmas Car-aoke. We hope you have as much fun watching it as we had making it! Merry Christmas.

Posted by Bowker Motor Group on Sunday, December 13, 2015

2016 Doggie Test Drive

2017 Telephone Challenge

2018 Bowker Beans

2019 Here’s to Lancashire Families

Andrew Holden, who works at Bowker BMW and MINI in Blackburn, has been honoured as the best Motability specialist in the country.

The award recognised Andrew as the best from over 18,000 motability specialists in the country. It acknowledges consistently high standards of service and support to customers of the Motability Car Scheme throughout 2018. 

What is Motability?

The Motability Scheme is the UK’s leading car scheme for disabled people. It provides affordable, convenient, worry-free motoring to over 600,000 disabled customers and their families. 

Andrew joined Bowker over five years ago, but has over 15 years experience in the role at dealerships throughout East Lancashire. Last year, Andrew was commended as one of the top two Motability specialists in the country.

Andrew said:

“I was commended last year. And that was a proud achievement. So to go one better this year has been a wonderful surprise. I work hard to help our motability customers enjoy the very best options that the scheme has to offer. 

“In many cases we see time and time again how a car transforms our customers’ quality of life. So it’s a particularly rewarding part of the motoring retail industry. And I’m proud to be a part of it.”

The Motability Scheme Dealer Awards

The Motability Scheme Dealer Awards programme rewards best practice and ensures customers receive exemplary customer service across the nationwide car dealer network. 

With prizes available across nine categories, the awards are judged on how a dealer delivers the Scheme to customers, and is assessed by customer feedback and reviews of their Motability Scheme performance. 

Richard Povey, dealer development manager – Dealer Relations at Motability Operations Ltd, said:

“We are extremely proud of the achievements all our winners, including Andrew at Bowker BMW and MINI, have achieved. It’s great to see the high level of service delivered by our dealer network and we are pleased to present the latest 2019 Dealer Awards. The annual Awards allow us to thank dealers for providing consistently positive customer service, highlighting those who are doing it well and encouraging others to do the same. 

“It is a testament to the outstanding standard, professional approach, and expert knowledge of Andrew at Bowker BMW and MINI that he has been recognised as a winning specialist – congratulations to him for his well-deserved 2019 Dealer Award.”

As MINI continues to celebrate its 60th anniversary, the brand has achieved a new feat as the ten millionth MINI produced globally since 1959 rolled off the assembly line.

The landmark car – a MINI 60 Years Anniversary Edition – was built on July 24th 2019 at MINI Plant Oxford and will take pride of place in today’s special event at Oxford.

To celebrate the brand’s 60th anniversary, MINI has been on the hunt for 60 owners of 60 cars, one from each year of production – with 60 personal stories from across the decades. Shared across the MINI digital channels throughout the year, the stories from owners around the UK shows the love they have for their cars and the important part they have played in so many people’s lives.

Today, MINI has bought together these cars at Plant Oxford for a special birthday gathering, before heading to the International MINI Meeting in Bristol, an annual festival for MINI fans globally. The cars will be led by 621 AOK – the very first Mini built – with the 10 millionth MINI bringing up the rear.

Launched in 1959 and designed by Alec Issigonis, the classic Mini revolutionised the automotive world and was produced at Oxford until 1968, before moving to Longbridge, near Birmingham, where it continued to be built until October 2000. Between 1959 and 2000 more than 5.3 classic Minis were built. 

Since the brand’s rebirth in 2001 under BMW ownership, sales around the world have gone from strength to strength. Last year nearly 400,000 MINIs were sold in 110 countries across the globe.

Three UK plants have a part to play in MINIs production today – Hams Hall near Birmingham makes engines, Swindon produces the body pressings and sub-assemblies for MINI, and this all comes together at the Oxford manufacturing plant with body shell production, paint and final assembly.


Daily output at Oxford has grown from around 300 cars a day in 2001 to around 1,000 today. The 4,500 strong workforce at Oxford produce one new MINI every 67 seconds.


Since 2000, over £2 billion has been invested by BMW Group in its UK manufacturing sites and, at Oxford this has included an extension to the plants body shop and new facilities in the paint shop and final assembly areas. In November 2019 the MINI Electric will begin production at Oxford and mark the beginning of a new era for the brand.


Peter Weber, managing director, MINI Plant Oxford and Swindon, said “As we celebrate 60 years of our iconic brand and look towards an electric future, I would like to thank everyone who has made MINI such a global success, from my team here to the loyal customers and fans around the world. To see the 10 millionth MINI roll of the production line here at Oxford was a moment of great pride for the whole team, a number of whom have relatives who were here building the very first Minis in 1959. This is a wonderful chapter in the MINI story and proof of the passion that our customers have for this very special British car.”


Just as Alec Issigonis’ first car did in 1959, MINI has continued to push the boundaries, whilst keeping creative use of space, driving fun, style and individualisation at its core.


Models built at Oxford today include the three and five door MINI Hatch and MINI Clubman. Around 80 per cent of MINIs built in Oxford are exported. The Convertible and Countryman models are built in The Netherlands.

Lancashire-based Bowker Motor Group has appointed Preston-based Warden Construction Limited to build the new 43,000 square feet Porsche Centre in the city.

Demolition began on site at Watery Lane in July and has now been completed. Construction work is due to commence with the new Porsche Centre opening in Spring 2019.

Warden Construction Limited was founded in 1954 and specialises in construction, refurbishment, development and maintenance solutions across a whole range of sectors. The company recently built the AFC Fylde stadium complex at Mill Farm in Wesham.

Bowker Motor Group chief executive, Paul Bowker, said: “Congratulations to Warden Construction. We are looking forward to working with them as the Porsche Centre Preston takes shape.

“Wherever possible, we prefer to work with Lancashire companies. Bowker Motor Group’s strategy to work with the world’s most prestigious automotive brands unlocks exciting opportunities for other local businesses too. That’s why we spoke to a selection highly-regarded Lancashire construction companies before we appointed Warden.

“Warden faced some stiff competition to win the business. But there was a good fit with our respective project teams: not least with their experience; and, their passion to deliver a remarkable new building on a landmark site for Preston.”

The multi-million pound investment in the new Porsche Centre Preston will create over 30 jobs. Preston will be the 40th Porsche Centre in the UK network.

For Warden, managing director Richard Kenworthy said: “Everyone at Warden is delighted to be working with Bowker Motor Group on such a prestigious retail development. It’s an area of Preston that many of us have driven past all our lives. That’s why we are proud to be part of a construction project which will transform the area.”

The designs for the new Porsche Centre Preston were prepared by Preston-based architects Cassidy and Ashton.

The building design features a 35-car showroom and a 13-bay workshop. There are also two customer handover bays; two direct dialogue bays which enable service advisors to demonstrate scope of technical work from every perspective; and, also EV charging points.

Porsche Cars GB Limited confirmed its decision to appoint Bowker Motor Group to operate its new Lancashire Centre in September 2017.

Bowker Motor Group has celebrated the start of installation of the steel which will form the main structure for the new Porsche Centre Preston.

The structure will give motorists passing the site on Watery Lane in Preston their first indication of the scale of the new 43,000 square feet Porsche Centre in the city. The building which is scheduled to open in Spring 2019.

Bowker Motor Group chief executive, Paul Bowker, said: “The steel structure gives the whole project a sense of reality. The computer images our designers generated during the planning stage give a great indication of how the whole area will be regenerated. But raising the steel structure is a proud moment and the first visible step in the transformation.”

Preston-based Warden Construction Limited were confirmed as the project’s main building contractors last month. And the designs for the new Porsche Centre Preston were prepared by Preston-based architects Cassidy and Ashton.

Paul adds: “It’s a great moment for the city too. The project showcases the skills of many local businesses and individuals. We hope Prestonians will be proud that so many involved in the project come from the city.”

When it opens, the building will feature a 35-car showroom and a 13-bay workshop. There are also two customer handover bays; two direct dialogue bays which enable service advisors to demonstrate scope of technical work from every perspective; and, also EV charging points with DC charge.

MINI has today unveiled the new MINI Electric at the Oxford plant, the home of the brand where the very first Mini was built 60 years ago. After 15,000 potential customers already expressed an interest in the car, the official order books are opened today. Manufacturing will begin in late 2019, with first deliveries in the spring of 2020 and exports headed around the world.


Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production – and previous plant director of Oxford – Oliver Zipse said, “We are entering an era in which electric cars will become a normal choice for our customers. The MINI Electric will kick off our new model offensive for fully electric vehicles. By 2023, two years ahead of schedule, we will have 25 electrified models on the market. More than half of them will be fully electric”.


The MINI Electric will be fully integrated into the production process at Oxford, running down the same lines as all the conventional models.


“This plant builds 1000 cars per day, with a new MINI coming off the line every 67 seconds, so the integration gives excellent production flexibility and allows supplies of the new model to be adjusted according to demand,” explained Plant


Oxford managing director, Peter Weber, “This is such a proud moment for every single one of our team.”


Instantly recognisable as a three-door MINI Hatch, the MINI Electric blends the timeless appeal of the design and go-kart handling with the latest in cutting-edge, zero-emissions powertrain technology and in-car connectivity. It drives just as a MINI should with performance close to that of the hot hatch MINI Cooper S, accelerating from zero to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds.


David George, director of MINI in the UK said, “Now our customers can have everything they love about MINI, but with all the advantages of an electric car – lower environmental impact and running costs and they never have to visit a petrol station again”.


Priced to be widely affordable, many customers are expected to lease the new car and rates will start below £300 per month. The on-the-road list price is from £24,400 after the government’s Plug-In Car Grant has been applied.


Research published today by What Car? magazine and supported by MINI showed that more than 1.5 million UK households which are perfectly suited to running an electric car, are not yet doing so. They have off street parking to allow easy at-home recharging and more than one car in the household, one of which never does more than 100 miles in a day. MINI’s own data shows that the average distance driven each day is 26 miles.


“We believe the new MINI Electric could be a tipping point for those who have been thinking about choosing an electric car, to take that step now,” added George. “We aim to introduce a whole new group of drivers in the UK to the fun and cost savings of electric driving, in a way only MINI can”.


Secretary of State for business, Greg Clark, welcomed the news, “Our automotive industry has long been a source of national pride, and the unique collaboration between Government and industry through our Industrial Strategy has helped put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero emission vehicles with one in five electric cars in Europe now built in the UK.


“The production of the electric MINI in the UK will play a key role in accelerating the adoption of cleaner, greener vehicles and I am delighted this modern British icon will be manufactured in Oxford”.


The original Mini, designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, was born out of the Suez crisis oil shortage and the demand for affordable motoring. The first cars rolled off the line at Oxford in the summer of 1959 and so began a global success story which has spanned six decades. As the world faces new environmental, social and economic challenges, MINI has chosen the moment to launch its first fully electric model.

53-year old Andrew Gee from Wigan has been appointed into the new role for both Bowker Motor Group and Bowker Transport (WH Bowker Ltd). 
 
It is the first time a key position has been created with roles at both the separate Lancashire businesses that trade under the Bowker family name. 

Andrew has more than 20 years of wide-ranging financial experience to the role including boardroom roles with JJB Sports plc, Dave Whelan Sports Ltd, HIMOR Group Ltd and most recently Lewis’s Home Retail Ltd. t/a TJ Hughes.
 
Andrew Gee said: “This is an exciting role, made more fascinating by the fact that it spans two of Lancashire’s most famous family businesses. There is a significant opportunity to identify synergies between the businesses, and I believe that will contribute to their continued success. 
 
“Only 18 months ago, Bowker Transport acquired Potter logistics. And the Motor Group’s strategy for investment in new Dealerships continues with the building the new Porsche Centre in Preston. There’s plenty to do and many reasons to be excited for the future.”
 
Bowker’s UK and European Transport employs over 450 people and operates more than 200 vehicles and 450 trailers throughout the UK and Europe, together with over 1,000,000 square feet of warehousing from its sites at Preston, Droitwich, Knowsley, Hull, Ripon, Selby and York. 
 
Bill Bowker, director of W H Bowker, said: “Andrew brings a wealth of expertise to the role. He has a demonstrable understanding of how family businesses work and he has an excellent knowledge of both retail and business to business sectors. We are looking forward to working with him.”

Bowker Motor Group chief executive Paul Bowker added: “Both Bowker businesses already share the best of Lancashire family entrepreneurial spirit. So, it makes perfect sense to jointly appoint a Chief Financial Officer of Andrew’s calibre. He has an excellent track record working with other renowned businesses throughout his career and we are delighted he is joining us at such an exciting time.”

Since 1992, the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) has been used to determine the fuel emissions and consumption values of vehicles. From September 2018, there will be a change in statutory test methods for consumption, emissions and pollution. The NEDC will be replaced by the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Test Procedure).

WLTP is a new legally binding test procedure for all car manufacturers to determine figures for exhaust emissions and fuel consumption. WLTP is based on an approximation of the test conditions to real-world circumstances, which will deliver more practically relevant values. Among the changes are redefined, substantially stricter test conditions as well as a significantly longer test duration (30 instead of 20 minutes).

To obtain a more precise determination of CO2 emissions, the new test procedure includes not only the values for the standard vehicle, but also the special extra options for the vehicle. This will produce, within the communication, two values for each type of vehicle: the lowest and highest possible standard consumption value according to the equipment options. Thanks to WLTP, future assessments for a vehicle’s consumption and CO2 emissions will be more accurate; in the case of a specific vehicle configuration, the individual standard value will be indicated directly.

The new test procedure will better assess a vehicle’s consumption and CO2 emissions in the future. The results will be more accurate than the previous measurements, as the values will be measured more realistically. Therefore, vehicles with combustion engines can expect higher consumption and CO2 figures. In the case of electric vehicles, the electric range will decrease.

The BMW group is already working on the transition to the new test procedure and is preparing its product portfolio step-by-step with new vehicles, new engine versions or technical revisions. This will ensure the entire fleet of BMW conforms to the WTLP.

From September 2018, all automobile manufacturers throughout the EU, as well as in Switzerland and Turkey, will be legally obliged to only produce vehicles that have been tested in accordance with the WLTP procedure. The transition within the markets will depend on the respective national legislation. However, by December 2020, all countries that adopt the EU legislation for the approval of vehicles must indicate WLTP values for all vehicles.

Bowker Motor Group has agreed a two-year corporate partnership extension with AFC Fylde.

The partnership will see the Lancashire-based automotive retailer continue the sponsorship of the West Stand at the the Club’s Mill Farm Stadium in Wesham.

The West Stand will carry Bowker Motor Group’s name for another two years, up until the end of the 2019/20 season.  The original agreement in 2016 was AFC Fylde’s first corporate partnership at the new Mill Farm Stadium. The partnership between Bowker Motor Group and AFC Fylde originally began in 2014 with sponsorship of the youth team kits.

Bowker Motor Group chief executive, Paul Bowker, said: “We’ve witnessed another incredible two-years of football at Mill Farm. There was AFC Fylde’s promotion from the National League North; and, then the play off campaign last season. The club is progressing on and off the pitch with an impressive community set up too. Bowker Motor Group is proud to be play its part in the club’s continuing success story.”

The Bowker Motor Group Stand is the stadium’s largest seating area; it accounts for 2,000 of the new stadium’s total 6,000 capacity. The West Stand also includes the 290-capacity Bradley’s Sports Bar; 80-seat Milano’s Restaurant; Aroma Cafe and Churchill’s conference and event facility.

For AFC Fylde, director of community development Tom Hutton said: “The agreement with Bowker Motor Group represents a true partnership in every sense of the word. Not only have they agreed to sponsor our main West Stand but they also support our community foundation too. Their contribution to the club’s continued success both now and in the future is greatly appreciated.”

AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm Stadium opened in 2016 as the centrepiece of the £18 million Mill Farm Sports Village. The village is open 7-days a week and employs over 80 people. The facilities include 5-a-side and 7-a-side pitches; a full-size hockey pitch; a 3G football pitch, retail outlets, petrol station, restaurants and bars.