Auto

MINI convoy heads to Portland

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —
Auto and Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 18, 2017

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More than 30 owners and MINI enthusiasts are expected to make the trek from the under-construction ATL Automotive showrooms on Lady Musgrave in St Andrew to the cool climes of Rose Hill in Portland tomorrow.

The convoy is scheduled to leave at 1:00 pm.

Organised by the ATL Automotive, local dealers of the brand, the event is dubbed End of Summer MINI Retreat.

Sloane Jackson, head of business for MINI, shared the insight behind the outing.

“It's like a welcome back to MINI. we wanted to re-engage the Jamaican public where the car is concerned... We wanted to show them what the cars can do. So the event is for the MINI loyalists and persons interested in getting a MINI; for people who have been following MINI since the days it was a British Leyland product,” Jackson told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

The MINI head of business said adventure tour company Island Routes would be sending eight vehicles from its fleet.

“And we'll be bring four of our own demo models we have... We have a Hatchback, a Clubman, a previous shape Countryman, and a new Countryman,” he said.

According to Jackson, there'll be several scheduled stops along the route where participants will be sensitised about the products and test-drive other MINI models.

“We've never had an event in Jamaica where they're so many models to test-drive,” said Jackson.

Once arriving at the location, the MINI Retreat will be enhanced through a picnic/cooler affair and a special screening at sunset of the classic box office hit the Italian Job. At the end of the movie, participants will be drive back to the starting point.

Considered an icon of 1960s British culture, MINI is a small economy car produced by the English-based British Motor Corporation and its successors from 1959 until 2000.

BMW acquired the Rover Group (formerly British Leyland) in 1994 and sold the greater part of it in 2000, but retained the rights to build cars using the MINI name.

In 1999 the MINI was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century behind the Ford Model T.

“MINI has grown up. It has moved away from being a niche car. The MINI shares the same platform of the X1; the Hatchback now has a five-door option — it's classier; the Clubman is larger and has more usable space. So the everyday customer who may be looking at a Japanese or an American brand can also look at the MINI,” he added.

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