Much was made of the remarkable popularity of the MINI E electric car around the time of the LA Auto Show. Numerous news outlets repeated the line that “10,000 drivers have already applied to lease the cars, at $850 a month.” (hybridcars.com). Now it appears, with the recession barreling along, that the interested throng has been whittled down a bit.
This week, a Bloomberg article noted:
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG will lease 250 of its new Mini Es in Southern California and 200 in metropolitan New York and New Jersey by March. Applicants, who will pay $850 a month for the zero-emissions car for one year, are outnumbering the models available by 4-to-1, according to the Munich-based carmaker.
2,000, 10,000, or 25,000? Just before the LA Show, Motor Trend remarked:
10,000 people have forwarded their email addresses to BMW, hoping to become customers. BMW expects 25,000 applicants by the time the list closes and BMW chooses its 500 U.S. guinea pigs.
I went through the initial MINI E lease application process back in mid-November … never got a peep back from MINI regarding the status of my application. Not one word … not even a thank you for the application. Did they not like my choice theoretical cross-country co-pilots? Did I fail the test? Perhaps because I participate in too many social media outlets and MINI considered me to be a loose cannon?
I’m more than a little irked, because I was – and still am – willing to put up $850 a month to participate in the experiment. While the company had taken a drubbing in many online forums for the cost of the lease, I had justified the expense and was ready to go forward.
Lets see what we can dig up out in Detroit …