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MINI to skip Detroit, Geneva shows?

MINI is considering following Volvo\'s lead and holding its own events.

Insiders suggest BMW's MINI division will sit out both the Detroit and the Geneva shows next year.

"It's not a move that has a lot of internal support," revealed an anonymous spokesman in an interview with Australian website Motoring. "There is a school of thought that we should be doing our own events, rather than joining in to motor shows as per tradition."

On one hand, the move is little surprising because MINI has at least two major new product launches scheduled for next year that need as much exposure as possible. It will introduce the second-generation Countryman, which will be bigger and more rugged than the current model, and the performance-focused, John Cooper Works-badged version of the new Clubman (pictured) that bowed in Frankfurt earlier this year.

On the other hand, the move makes sense from a financial perspective because the company is small and it can't unveil a new model at every show of the season, meaning its booth often gets overlooked by both the public and the press. Consequently, the cons of having a presence at every show likely outweigh the pros.

Jaguar - Land Rover recently confirmed plans to sit out the Detroit Motor Show, but MINI hasn't commented on the report. Only time will tell if it'll trek out to the nation's Motor City next month.

Déjà vuThe move isn't unprecedented. Last year, Sweden's Volvo announced plans to limit its presence to one major auto show per region, meaning it's skipping the New York, the Los Angeles, and the Chicago shows. Instead, the company introduces cars at private events usually held at its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, and it puts prospective buyers behind the wheel by organizing regular product clinics all around the globe.

Live images -- perhaps the last of a new MINI at a car show -- by Ronan Glon.

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