More Brandicide: MINI's Mini-SUV

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
more brandicide mini s mini suv

Someone go get my Clonazepam. MINI has announced that it's building an SUV-type product, and cyber-mag Winding Road has the shots to prove it. Forget market share, ignore the ever-present push to increase sales numbers at any cost. The MINI Cooper was specifically, consistently and persistently sold as the anti-SUV– not the ante-SUV. This type of "every brand, every niche" mindset is killing the car industry, one BMW SAV, Mercedes hearse, Bentley hybrid, Audi city car, Lexus hypersport sedan and $29k Cadillac at a time. While most of those propositions are merely Three Stooges ridiculous, the MINI SUV (a.k.a. "Monte") has a major problem. It's not mini. It has to be quite a bit bigger, quite a bit heavier. It'll probably need (in some sense of that word) all wheel-drive. Oh, and a larger engine. At best, all that changes MINI from Mini to "Regular." Unless the new MINI SUV has Suzuki Sidekick off-road abilities, PASS.

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  • Martin Albright Martin Albright on Oct 30, 2007

    I think the whole "brandicide" thing is silly anyway. The only place I see people getting worked up about "brand image" is here on TTAC. Certainly the buyers don't care. I know that the fall of the Detroit 3 is often blamed on "poor branding" but it's really poor products that are killing them, not branding. The idea that each brand should have a distinctive personality is a fetish of a few brand lovers out there. I know brand-worshipping Porsche-o-philes were horrified when the Cayenne came out, ditto with Audi-lovers and the Q7. So what? Will people refuse to buy a 911 because Porsche makes an SUV? Will a potential buyer disdain the Quattro because Audi makes an SUV? And will an image-conscious econo-phile turn his nose up at the Prius just because Toyota also makes the Tundra and the FJ Cruiser? Where on earth did the notion come from that each brand was supposed to be "pure?" That's just weird. It's like saying "I heard your brother was convicted of embezzlement so I won't do business with you." Mini is a hot, desirable car. The Mini-wagon is obviously intended for those people who have said "gee, I'd love to get one of those, but where would I put the baby seats and the golf clubs?" Mini-pickup? Mini-van? Why not?

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Oct 30, 2007

    Another small CUV!!!???? Nooooooooooooo! There is now a market for a small SUV, as there are none left. If it's not a cheap jeep with style, they should just leave it in the idea bin and do somthing else.

  • Pch101 Pch101 on Oct 30, 2007
    I know that the fall of the Detroit 3 is often blamed on “poor branding” but it’s really poor products that are killing them, not branding. It's not an either-or argument -- both are important. The product problem and the branding problem feed each other, and are not mutually exclusive.
  • Nydownes Nydownes on Dec 01, 2007

    First of all this is not a Mini... it is a MINI!! Big (no pun intended) difference!. The Clubman model is an original Mini model even though it was NOT called a Clubman!! It was called a Countryman or a Traveller. For some reason BMW did not have enough money (or the correct information) to purchase the rights to buy the name back from the BMC. Clubman referred to the horribly ugly square nosed minis of the 70's. (there was the Clubman and the Clubman Estate - read Wagon). But as history showed, NOBODY liked them!! They quickly reverted back to the round-nosed Minis!! So tell me, why would you use a name that is associated with a big mistake?! I have no idea!! I can't believe that BMW couldn't work out getting Countryman or Traveller?!? That would be kinda like Ford releasing the new version of the Mustang and calling it a "PINTO"!! JAJA Of course the US market knows nothing of the clubman so it works here!! I am curious what people on the other side of the pond think about using the Clubman name? As far as the SUV thing, well... just remember, this is MINI!! NOT Mini! I know there is just one leter difference, but BMW is not BMC!! Bring back the Riley Elf!!, the PU!! Hell... Give me a Moke!! I do have to say, even though I have owned a '63 Traveller for 11 years, I sure enjoy having a car that starts every morning, heats up more than just one leg in the winter, drives in a straight line as well as it does on the corners, and driving through a puddle doesn't shut the lights off!! I am certainly considering the new "Clubman"!! It sure would look cute in the garage next to her great grandmother!! :D