Graeme Grieve has been appointed the new sales boss for BMW's Mini brand. BMW executive Guenther Seemann will succeed Grieve as head of the automaker's importer markets in the regions of Africa, Eastern Europe, Caribbean, Pacific, Middle East and Asia. Hendrik von Kuenheim will take the current position of Seemann's as head of BMW's automobile business in the sales regions of Asia, South Africa and Oceania.
Von Kuenheim is currently the automaker's motorcycles division boss since 2007. He is the son of Eberhard von Kuenheim, who is BMW's former longtime CEO and supervisory board chairman. He joined the automaker in 1985. Additionally, he has occupied a number of senior managerial roles within the company, including sales and marketing boss in Spain and Canada.
Stephan Schaller will succeed Von Kuenheim as the new head of BMW motorcycles. He returns to BMW from his current position of vice chairman of the management board at German specialist glass company Schott.
Schaller was with the automaker from 1981 to 1999, holding a range of managerial positions, one of which is as production boss at BMW's Rosslyn facility in South Africa. All of the changes in job positions are effective June 1.
Fifty years ago, legendary sports car designer John Cooper decided to consider the possibilities of transforming a classic Mini into something that was to become the “ultimate fun-to-drive road machine”. Now fast-forward 50 years, an incarnation of Mini’s racing heritage presents itself in the form of the MINI John Cooper Works GP. Just like its predecessors, the MINI John Cooper Works GP carved its name into a highly successful motor sport career, bagging the win three times at the Monte Carlo Rally.
Continuing the tradition of maintaining close links between John Cooper Works products and models and the British-built premium small car, the modern-day MINI continues to be an epitome of superior motor sport engineering. The most impressive of them all was the limited edition 2006 MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Tuning Kit. Only 2,000 units were made, making it a highly coveted collector’s item.
The principles that govern the development of the MINI John Cooper Works GP – by taking the sporty nature of the MINI and combining this with race track features – make up the stunner that it is. The John Cooper Works brand is now a sub-brand of MINI, raising the bar for elite sporting machines. How? Well, the new model is now 18 seconds faster than its predecessor, after being tested on the Nürburgring North Loop. This just goes to show that John Cooper Works is continuously developing technological advancements to raise the stakes higher for performance vehicles.
The MINI John Cooper Works GP is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that gives excellent responsive power and revving ability which are reflected in its performance figures. It also comes with a cutting-edge engineering package and a whole variety of technology taken from the world of motor sport. Some of these features include the aluminum cylinder block and bearing mounts, reinforced pistons, a sturdier cylinder head, low-weight crankshafts and sodium-filled exhaust valves.
To ensure that fuel supply is controlled, the MINI John Cooper Works GP comes with direct petrol injection while twin-scroll turbocharging produces high boost pressure. On the other hand, helping maximize engine responsiveness and efficiency is a fully variable valve control which is based off the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology.