Mini in Size, Massive in Demand
The Mini is accelerating in popularity! While Mini has had a worldwide following for years, it didn’t make its U.S. market debut until 2002 when BMW brought it overseas to the US market. While only about 25,000 sold during that inaugural year in America, that number has swelled to more than 725,000 sold throughout the United States since its launch.
The popularity of the Mini has been boosted by fresh models such as the Mini Convertible, featuring a fully automatic ragtop that can even be partly deployed to create a sunroof effect. The Mini Clubman offers more legroom, storage space and functionality, and the Countryman was introduced as the first Mini SUV. (The Countryman also comes in All Wheel Drive and diesel engine versions.) There’s truly a Mini to fit everyone’s needs.
A Growing Brand Needs a Large Team of Technicians
To keep up with the demand for its cars, parent company BMW has partnered with Lincoln Technical Institute to train new automotive technicians on Mini-specific technologies. The BMW STEP (Service Technician Education Program) is now available for students training at Lincoln’s Grand Prairie, Texas campus.
Lincoln Tech’s Grand Prairie, TX Campus President Mike Couling remarked, “Mini is a growing, exciting brand and they’re producing some very advanced vehicles that require uniquely-skilled technicians for maintenance. We’re honored to have been chosen as one of the first sites in the country to train those future technicians, and we look forward to helping Mini build its workforce.”
BMW STEP is a program that includes hands-on experience working with diagnostic codes, brake systems, electrical systems, on-board computers and more. Students enrolled in Lincoln’s Automotive Technology career training program can apply for the opportunity to be in BMW STEP, which comes at no additional cost. BMW of North America pays each student’s tuition and after their four-month training is complete, they can graduate and begin applying for positions at Mini dealerships around the country.
In the next eight years, Texas will see a rising demand of more than 19,000 Automotive Technicians – ten percent of the 190,000 technicians needed nationwide. Lincoln Tech and the BMW STEP program are committed to providing the highest quality training to fulfill that need.