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American motorists’ mentalities were very different a decade ago. Gas was selling at $1.25 a gallon, and thirsty SUVs like the Hummer H2 were popular.
Fast forward to today and gas prices are more than triple the old average. That translates to buyer’s increasing interest in smaller, more fuel-efficient models like the MINI Cooper.
“MINI launched in the U.S. during the time when gas was cheap and large trucks and SUV’s ruled the road. Many thought the brand would be a one-hit wonder, and we are extremely proud that we were able to surprise some [of] the toughest critics, and at times, even ourselves,” MINI USA vice president Jim McDowell said.
Despite that skepticism, the company is celebrating a decade of sales and growth in the U.S., and steady upward progress. Most recently the company debuted its 2013 Countryman John Cooper Works edition, which is a more performance-oriented take on its largest offering to date. The Countryman is an example of how the company grew over the past 10 years.
The MINI brand first opened shop in San Francisco back in 2002, at a time when many didn’t think a funky, European hatchback had any place on the vast Interstates of America, a land where gas was cheap and size mattered most.
Many felt this premium small car brand, under BMW ownership didn’t have much of a chance of surviving in the States, especially because it started as a one-model company.
Soon, MINI expanded by introducing more models including not-so-small options. This eventually lead to the six choices you see today and a healthy customer base.
Since 1948, those who have wanted to travel by roads that didn’t actually exist, chose to do so with a Land Rover.
It might not have been the only proper off-road vehicle on the market, but its ability to cross terrain made it an ideal choice for the adventurer crowd.
Americans have been able to buy Land Rover, and the more luxurious Range Rover products for 25 years now. To celebrate this milestone, Land Rover has released a little film, showing their past, their present, and a glimpse of their future.
So if you are a fan of these British SUV’s, you would enjoy the film after the break.
The 1 millionth Hyundai Sonata rolled off the line on July 29 2011 at the Alabama manufacturing facility, marking a historic milestone for the Korean automaker. A small celebration last Friday was held at the plant, as a 2012 Limited Edition 2.0 Turbo with a radiant silver paint finish, marked the event . Employees of the plant cheered as President and CEO Young Deuk Lim drove the Sonata off the line with Vice President of Production, Ashley Frye and Robert Coleman, HMMA’s Team Member of the year in the passenger seats.
“I am so proud of everything our Team Members have accomplished in the past six years, eclipsing 1,000,000 total vehicles manufactured in November 2009, producing more than 300,000 vehicles in 2010 and now our 1,000,000th Sonata,” said President Lim. “This milestone provides us an opportunity celebrate our many achievements and take pride in knowing our Hyundai spirit is alive and ready to reach any goal we set for ourselves.”
The Alabama plant has produced three different vehicles since 2006 including the Sonata, Santa Fe and Elantra. The popular Sonata, has helped Hyundai exceed the 300,000 unit capacity at the plant for the past two years.
In the world of hood ornaments, Rolls Royce has possibly the most ostentatious decoration of them all, and this year it’s turning 100-years old.
While Rolls Royce started doing business in 1904, the “Spirit of Ecstasy” (also referred to as the ‘Flying Lady’) didn’t make it’s first appearance atop a Rolls Royce’s radiator grille until 1911. Since then, it has been a fixture on every single model produced by the company.
For the model year 2011, each ornament will have the inscription of “Ecstasy Centenary” on the base of each statue.
To further mark this centenary, Rolls-Royce will be hosting plenty of events throughout the year, starting with a parade through London on February 6th, to honor Charles Sykes, who designed the Spirit of Ecstasy and registered it on this date.
The parade will feature 100 Rolls Royce’s of different ages and models, and on route they will pass by Conduit Street and Berkeley Square, the old and new homes of the brand.
Also expect celebrations at various auto shows and at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, after all Goodwood estates has been the new manufacturing home of Rolls Royce Motor Cars since 2003.
So congratulations Spirit of Ecstasy on this milestone, may you live to see a 100 more.