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· Administrator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

MINI sales are in a serious slump, but that doesn’t mean the brand is willing to cater to the lowest common denominator.

Over the past several years sales for the fun British brand have increased steadily with the addition of numerous new models. There have been successes (the Countryman) and failures (the Coupe and Roadster) and to keep MINI on an up-swing executives even considered a stripped-down model.

To keep up the momentum, MINI explored the idea of introducing a budget-focused model like they do in Europe. “We’ve considered it and we’ve decided against it,” said MINI product boss Pat McKenna.

Overseas the MINI One, as it’s known, sits below the Cooper and makes use of an even smaller displacement engine with reduced output. The previous generation MINI One used a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder co-developed by BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroen making just 75 hp.

That option was not on the table says McKenna.

“While a MINI One could reach a lower pricepoint, the Cooper is developing the amount of power you expect from a premium small car,” he said.

Instead, the proposed car would have made use of the same base 1.6-liter Cooper engine but would have come decontended, featuring steel wheels, and the loss of features like ambient lighting and a multi-function steering wheel.

With the current base Cooper priced at $19,950 (before destination) and the previous generation model at $19,700 a “stripper” MINI could have more closely competed with its quirky-car rival, the Fiat 500, which starts at just $16,195.

In the end, however, the more affordable Cooper concept was axed and the brand’s dealership network was the deciding factor.

“Usually with a dealer you would always expect they would go for the lower price,” McKenna said, “but they really surprised us, they said ‘don’t do it.’” The dealer reaction, he said, was encouraging. “We’re lucky to have dealers that really get the brand.”

Overall it was a strong indication that it’s not the sticker on the window that’s preventing anyone from buying a MINI. “They [dealers] don’t see the price sensitivity,” said McKenna.

As for the brand’s current sales slump, McKenna says it’s strictly tied to 2014 model year cars that haven’t arrived yet, while the 2013s are sold out.
He’s confident the new hardtop will fill the sales void, while growth will be tied to an addition to the MINI lineup, which is due out later this year.


What do you guys think about this plan from Mini? Does it affect the brand?

· Registered
2 Posts
Get back to basics

I am on my 3rd Mini. I owned a Cooper S, a JCW and a Countrymen.
Mini has gone too much to selling a concept, a brand, am image. In the end though you are selling a car. Ford comes along and puts out the Focus ST in North America with 252 Hp with a 4 Cyl Turbo ( Eco boost engine) at less cost than a JCW. Yes I tried one and yes I was very impressed. Then Ford comes out with a 1.6 ST Fiesta at 200hp that is very very respectable especially at the price tag.
Ah yes but its not a Mini. Yeah whatever.
Mini has turned into Smoke and Mirrors , I mean we are all excited in the Mini world to get 20hp more, I mean , big deal!
Other manufacturers keep improving their platform and outclassing the Mini on the track and less cost.
Mini seems more interested in making a nice paint job and dressing the car up to look sharp than ACTUALLY driving better.
I think Mini is in for a serious nose dive unless they get back to basics and get back in the game

· Registered
2 Posts
oh and look out Europe the 2015 Mustang is coming. Over 305 HP in a 4 cylinder EB engine.
So if Mini doesn't finally wake up the JCW will really take a nose dive.
I mean 231 HP and a fancy paint job…ah…OK…the GP was a joke.
Don't get me wrong I love my JCW, the nimble feel and handling but after trying the Focus ST I was really shocked at how much Ford got in the Hot Hatch game.
Mini can only sell a "brand" so much before the pool dries up.
The fad is over, I live in Montreal and Minis are a a dime a dozen here so the novelty is over. I have owned a Mini now for 10 years, at first it was rare, not anymore in all aspects.
Mini just has let everyone catch up on their strong points and focused too much on branding and marketing than on actually redesigning platforms. Case in point, the clutch on the Countrymen, complete joke that should have been fixed the first year. Ever tried a Lancer EVO on the track? Yikes! Amazing platform but Lancer did not upgrade the interior and just kept the same , well, everything. I loved the Lancer EVO GSR on the track, everyone does but on a daily drive it lost out. Result, sales have dried up. In the this game if you stop you die. Mini changes in the big picture are small things, sort of patchwork fixes, oh different brakes or tweak the suspension, but its still the same thing. A jump of 20-25 HP, big deal. The new technologies on engines out now are over 300 HP as the bar with fuel economy, emission control and great torque in 2.0 2.3 4 Cylinders.
Sorry to barge in a step on some toes but ….
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