Detroit, MI

January 06, 2002....MINI has scooped the prestigious title '2003 North American Car of the Year'.


The award, given by a group of 50 full-time automotive journalists from Canada and the United States, was presented to Jack Pitney, general manager of MINI USA at a breakfast ceremony during the NAIAS in Detroit, MI.


The award recognizes the most outstanding vehicle of the year based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.


Jack Pitney said: "We are completely thrilled to win this foremost award. The journalists on the NACOTY panel are among the most respected automotive authorities in the world, and for MINI to receive this recognition from them is truly an honor. "


This award comes after MINI was named the most appealing compact car in J.D. Power and Associates 2002 APEAL study, Best Total Value by Strategic Vision, and  "Most Significant Vehicle of the Year, 2002" by the editorial staff at


The Classic Mini is Britain's best selling car with over 5 million sold and remains a cultural icon around the world, driven by everyone from The Beatles to Royalty.  The Classic Mini was sold in the U.S from 1960-1967. MINI (now in uppercase) made its reentry into the U.S. market in March 2002 with the all-new MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S.  The shortest cars on American roads have a 2003 starting price of $16.975. MINI has sold over 24,000 since its 2002 relaunch, more than double Classic Mini's eight year 1960s sales total.  Consumer information on MINI can be found at


BMW Group in America

BMW of North America has been present in the United States since 1975. Since then, the BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales and financial service organizations for the BMW and MINI brands; a South Carolina manufacturing operation; DESIGNWORKS/USA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country.  The BMW Group is represented in the U.S. through networks of 340 BMW car, 327 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle, 148 BMW Motorcycle retailers and 70 MINI car dealers.  BMW US Holding Corp., the Group's headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.


Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at, and


Journalist note: Information about the BMW Group and its products is available to journalists on-line at the BMW Group PressClub at the following address -


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