The British car manufacturer will sell battery-powered bicycles developed with Angell. With this approach, he wants to consolidate his image as king of urban mobility.
We knew Mini as a car manufacturer. Now the British brand is launching into electric bikes. From November, it will put two limited series of battery-powered bicycles on sale. Exactly 1959 numbered copies for each series. A nod to the date of birth of this car manufacturer which, in its time, had renewed the small urban car. “The machines will be delivered from January», Indicates Guillaume de Sazilly, director of Mini France.
Mini logo clearly visible, two-tone range with sober colors used by the brand, the universe of this manufacturer successfully relaunched by BMW which bought it around twenty years ago is very present. And like cars, these VAEs (electrically isted bicycles) are positioned in the premium niche with the price that goes with it: 3,490 euros. However, these machines are very reminiscent of those of Angell, the connected bicycle start-up launched four years ago by Marc Simoncini, the successful serial entrepreneur. Profiled frame, battery with a very refined look, there is more than a family resemblance.
Normal : “ At the end of a call for tenders that we won last year, we signed a five-year partnership with them to jointly develop Mini branded bicycles. », explains the founder of Meetic. We understand Angell’s interest in this matter. Partnering with Mini will give it real, essential credibility at a time when VAE sales are faltering.
Even if it is less obvious, Mini’s approach follows a real logic. “ Mini, which embodies the urban car par excellence, is aware that the automobile sometimes finds its limits in large cities. The electric bike is then the best solution », Estimates Guillaume de Sazilly. In fact, the brand which sold nearly 293,000 cars worldwide in 2022 and claims a market share of 6% in Europe on premium models wants to consolidate its image as a specialist in urban mobility. It is not looking for huge additional turnover but to strengthen its marketing positioning.
Moreover, the brand’s VAEs will complete a system that goes in this direction: in New York, Mini is a partner of Urban X, a start-up accelerator aiming to reinvent the city. In France he supports Faire Paris which develops projects to make large cities more pleasant.
“ Mini is right not to make it a commercial affair because with more than 500 brands, the electric bike niche is very crowded. Moreover, many high-end or luxury automobile manufacturers (Bugatti, Porsche, Alpine, Mercedes, etc.) market VAEs under their brand at high prices. And we see very few of them on the street», argues a cycling expert.
This does not prevent Mini from taking the subject very seriously. In the coming years, they will release Mini bikes in large series, moving away from Angell’s design. To sell their machines, they will use several distribution channels (voluntary Mini dealerships, direct sales via a own Mini branded website, etc.). After-sales service (After-sales service) will be provided by Angell with a network of multi-brand repairers or “flying guardians» who will repair the machine at the home of their owners in the region. And the Angell maintenance center located in the Paris region will take over for the most difficult cases. See you in a few years to see if the test is transformed.