Mini aIf you know any parts and accessories managers read this to them and watch them burst into uncontrollable sobbing. Statistically anyone spending $20,000 on a Harley Davidson will spend an additional $4000 on Harley’s own in-house custom accessories, clothing and merchandise. Harley is big on custom exhaust pipes, chrome kits, brake and suspension kits, rocker covers, axle end pieces, luggage – there’s 20 pages of trim items alone on the website.

This is the sort of spending that P&A managers in the car game dream about. But the folk at Mini no longer dream, they see what Harley can achieve and set their objective to do the same. Mini is a brand accustomed to parting car buyers from their money and it has just developed a new and exciting way to extract even more – ultimate personalisation.

Mini bUntil now the way to personalise your Mini was with standardised factory options, such as colourful wing mirrors, a union jack on the roof and speed stripes. Again there are pages and pages of this stuff available, so much so that buyers are told there’s every chance their Mini will wind up unique in the world. If they spend enough. And that’s fine until you meet some other Mini owner with an even bigger budget for this stuff than you.

Now however, standardised factory options are suddenly very last century. Now you can design your own trim. For example, as you open the door a laser projector can cast a welcoming messaging on the pavement over which you are about to step. Anything from ‘Welcome (insert name here)’ to ‘G’day mate.’

You will then step over the rocker panels at the base of the door cavity which are also imprinted with your name, your signature or a happy message about enjoying the drive, the message is entirely up to you. The passenger-side dash panel can also be personalised, anything from a silhouette of the New York skyline to a mathematical puzzle for your passenger to work on while you get on with the driving, whatever presses your buttons.

Mini dOutside the indicator tell-tales on the front fenders can have inserts carrying whatever will fit.

You design all this on-line at the Mini shop website and the parts are made up to your order in Germany in whatever colour schemes you choose to match your car. Ah, the joys of 3D printing. Delivery is specified in ‘a few weeks’ and then you can either fit the parts yourself or have your dealer do it.

Ah, but what happens when you tire of what you have and wish for a change? Or you need to sell the car because you’re moving on or because the money has run out and the bankers have come knocking? The sweet young thing thinking of buying your personalised Mini is hardly going to want a heap of messages saying ‘Hullo Bruce.’ Well there’s good news here too – she can order her own personalised parts and replace yours with them.

Good news for Mini’s coffers too.

Published December 2017


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