53% of the Minis sold in America in August 2014 were Countrymans and Pacemans. The Countryman was Mini’s best-selling model variant, responsible for 50% more Mini sales than the company’s original model, the one they call the Hardtop.
Now in its third BMW iteration, the Hardtop’s launch has been a slow one. This isn’t necessarily a reflection on the car’s popularity, as many Minis are individualized models that take time to cross the Atlantic. We’ve yet to see the full impact of what the new Mini can do.
In the meantime, the Countryman is floating Mini’s boat. Granted, Mini’s boat isn’t sitting that high in the water: sales have decreased in each of 2014’s first eight months. Countryman sales jumped 48% in August even as the rest of Mini’s range slid 41%. Year-to-date, Mini Countryman sales are up 6%; the rest of the Mini lineup is collectively down 34%. (Read More…)
Though BMW may announce Thursday where in Mexico it will build its second North American plant, sources close to the matter said the plant will pump 150,000 units annually into auto trains bound for the United States.
Can you say, brand dilution? Then again, it’s better than the Countryman.
The biggest MINI of them all, the Countryman, debuted its refreshed looks for the guests at the 2014 New York Auto Show.
BMW’s MINI may not replace the Coupe, Paceman or Roadster when their day comes, opting to focus on three “pillar” models that allow the brand to be “more relevant to more people,” according to MINI head of product management Oliver Friedmann.
At 10 inches longer and 7 inches wider than the current Clubman, this really is the Maxi Mini. And it’s got two extra doors. While officially a concept, you can bet that this is making it into production.
You could make a case for Mini’s Clubman being an ideal small-business/delivery vehicle. It’s large enough to carry bulky office items, small enough to park, stylish enough to be seen in, and gets decent fuel economy. One of the biggest criticisms of the Clubman, though, has nothing to do with its practicality- it’s that the bigger Mini doesn’t quite live up to the brand’s hard-earned performance heritage. That’s going to change, however, with the launch of the 2015 Mini Hybrid Clubman.
MINI Countryman cars being assembled at Magna Steyr’s Austrian facility.
The Kleine Zeitung newspaper reported on Thursday that the BMW Group will end contract production of Mini cars by Magna Steyr in 2016. Automotive News reports that the Austrian supplier currently builds the Mini Countryman and Mini Paceman. BMW will move production of the two models to BMW’s own Mini factory in Oxford, England, and to Mitsubishi’s former NedCar facility in the Netherlands, where the Dutch group VDL will start Mini production under contract later this year. Magna Steyr’s corporate parent, Magna International, said in a statement that its relationship with BMW will continue through a new vehicle manufacturing contract.
The end of the year, the end of an era for a famous British Marque. Let’s get crackin’ before the ink on the vellum dries for the (all new) 2014 model. (Read More…)