Mini has become the second car maker to move into the home building business – following Aston Martin's lead earlier this year, Mini has now built a block of flats in China.
In what the company calls 'the first co-living project in China', Mini has teamed up with Chinese project developer Nova Property Investment to turn an unused industrial area in Shanghai into apartments, working spaces and cultural and leisure offerings. A slightly different idea than Aston Martin's bid to throw up a pile of luxury apartments in Miami, it seems.
Mini has been working on the project since last year as part of its Mini Living scheme, which has investigated new concepts that maximise the quality of life in the smallest spaces, but this is the first time one of their concepts has been made in real life. What was once a paint factory will now be an 'urban hotspot with generous space for working, interaction and living', while apartments, shareable cars and other workspaces will also be made available.
'Mini has always been an urban brand. It not only has its finger on the pulse of the city, it injects that pulse with extra energy,' said Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW's board member in charge of Mini.
'At MINI we are also well versed in the intelligent use of space; back in 1959 the classic Mini was already maximising the experience available within a very small footprint,' added Schwarzenbauer. 'Mini Living brings this know-how from the vehicles we drive into the places where we live. We are rethinking the idea of living space in the city and developing attractive, need-oriented living concepts. Our aim here is to offer an extremely high quality of life within an extremely small area.'
We've got vacuum cleaner manufacturers and technology giants delving into the motoring world, now some of the motoring world's biggest names are going into property...whatever next?