After ten years of of production of the new MINI in Oxford, British Prime Minister David Cameron drove the Two-millionth MINI off the line and out of the plant. Cameron declared: “It’s a real privilege to drive this true British icon off the production line today. The 2 millionth MINI to be made here in Oxford is a fantastic symbol of the UK’s strength in the global automotive industry and a great British manufacturing success story. MINI is not just a symbol of our industrial past, but also the great industrial future we want to build.” Frank-Peter Arndt, member of the Board of Management of BMW added, “Production of the two millionth MINI comes on the back of strong demand worldwide…The most essential factors in the success of MINI are the skills, passion and dedication of our associates.” Producing 216,302 special premium brand MINI vehicles in 2010 and exporting to more than 90 countries across the globe, MINI was the third-largest vehicle manufacturer in the UK, accounting for 17 percent of national automotive production. The Oxford plant currently builds four MINI models: the MINI, MINI Convertible, MINI Clubman and the new MINI Coupé. A fifth model, the MINI Roadster, will be added at the end of the year. The Two-Millionth MINI is no ordinary MINI, as it's adorned with special paintwork and extras and… it's a convertible. Best part about it? You can win this special MINI convertible! It will be the prize in a global campaign on Facebook “2 Million MINI – 2 Million Faces.” It will compile the faces of two million MINI fans on a special Facebook “wall”. The winner will be chosen at random among everyone who enters by submitting a photo. You better hurry as the contest ends on September 30th. The MINI has turned into a much beloved and iconic car. Some would say it's even reached a cult status of sorts. The original Mini Cooper has been featured in movies such as the original 1969 “The Italian Job” with Michael Caine. The car chase sequences through Rome in the movie are considered some of the best in cinema history. A certain auto journalist definitely agrees! A remake of “The Italian Job” was made in 2003 with Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron which featured the new MINI and another set of exciting car chase sequences. Congratulations to the Oxford plant and MINI (or should I say BMW) for making 2 million. They are great little cars. I look forward to seeing 2 Million more on the road!
Bridgestone has a new website for teen drivers, Teensdrivesmart.com. The focus is to educate by providing a comprehensive resource for young drivers. Resources are provided in the form of useful information, fun video games, informative videos, and a blog. However the site is not just for teenagers as there are great resources for parents and teachers as well.
Sometimes it can be hard for parents to think of the right things to say to the newly minted drivers in the family. The website helps with tips and advice. They have driving contracts for parents and teens. Fill these out and discuss the rules and limits when using the family vehicles. This is something a certain writer would definitely approve of… of course not when he was learning to drive.
The site has another great feature – teaching tools. Most schools don't offer driver ed's. But teachers and students do still talk about driving, and the site offers driving-focused lesson plans that teachers can use in high school and even middle school. The lessons can be easily integrated into instruction for many different subjects. If you are a teacher, check it out. Consider how to teach your students safe driving habits. Talking about driving should be a priority. This can save lives.
“With the website we provide all the information to make smart decisions. There are more distractions than ever,” says Angela Patterson Sikes, who manages teen driver safety initiatives for Bridgestone. Texting; cell phones; music: other teens – are all potential co-pilots with teen drivers, and all can be lethal. Sikes, who also writes for the site's “Driver's Seat Blog,” says the site offers tips on how teens (and adults) can handle those distractions.
“Teenagers are new drivers which is a great opportunity to learn good habits.” says Sikes. “We think safety is everyone's responsibility. We try to involve parents and teachers to get out the message.”
The blog, which encourages reader comments and an open forum, gives out this information in a conversational manner. Four young women are the primary contributors who connect to teens on their level, without talking down to them. “We want to put a face on the lessons we are trying to teach,” Sikes says.
The website is gaining traction. Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, recently contributed with video messages chatting about the site.
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