Mini Takes The States Tour Goes Flat Again

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

In a YouTube video announcement yesterday, Mike Peyton, vice-president of Mini of the Americas, let the air out of Mini Takes The States for 2021, postponing the bi-yearly event which was canceled in 2020.

A gathering of the Mini faithful, Mini Takes The States had occurred every other year prior to the pandemic. A parade of three thousand or more vehicles, routed along a curated course through a half-dozen or more states, MTTS is a must-attend event for Mini loyalists.

Peyton, the self-proclaimed chief motorer at Mini, thanked the Mini community in the three-minute video. He said repeatedly that MTTS was not going away. Citing the coronavirus and the uneven enforcement of gathering sizes not only by state but by municipalities, the decision was made to once again postpone the event.

Without setting a specific date in 2022, Mini is leaving the door open to hold MTTS sooner if the rate of infection drops dramatically, or to push it back if there are signs COVID-19 is still running rampant.

This notice came in stark contrast to NASCAR’s premier event, the Daytona 500, which took place at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on Sunday, February 14. At the 500, despite restricting the audience to roughly a third of their capacity, NASCAR still opened their season with a live event in front of 30,000 or more spectators.

Perhaps Mini would have been fine with an abbreviated tour of three or four states in the Southeast, say Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, where there are fewer restrictions than in other states. However, Peyton also cited the loss of employment among some owners, along with coronavirus concerns as reasons for the cancellation.

Other automakers are cautiously gearing up again to do live events, keeping in mind social distancing and masking, in addition to limited numbers of attendees.

[Images: Mini]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • RHD RHD on Feb 16, 2021

    I wonder how many tow trucks will attend the event. Not to be mean about it, but 3000 Minis travelling from Vermont to South Carolina (and then back home) will have a breakdown or two. The star vehicle being seen on the hook would not be good publicity.

    • See 1 previous
    • Rboz Rboz on Feb 17, 2021

      My MINI has 92k miles and has Never failed to start or leave me stranded. The only part that failed was the HVAC fan resister for $46.

  • Downpour Projects Downpour Projects on Feb 17, 2021

    Perhaps I don't know enough about the event, but it looks like lots of driving around with some community service and social events mixed in. It seems to me like a modified event should have been able to take place? The short videos from previous years certainly show some gatherings, but it looks like a BIG part of the event was driving as a group. Which is fine and great, I've enjoyed "cruising" with friends plenty. And that shouldn't be a problem as long as people aren't swapping cars I guess. Granted you would have to cut out the big gettogether and dinner at the fairgrounds or whatever, but if a big part of the fun comes from cruising in your huge flock of Minis then I don't see why they couldn't do that (perhaps in smaller segments) and then advise their fans to engage in their own acts of community outreach to end the event. Maybe it won't look as impressive for marketing? Or maybe they're afraid of the safety police backlash? Seems like a missed opportunity...

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