Mini USA Sales Breakdown – August 2014 YTD

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

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%.

Naturally Mini’s U.S. decline has plenty to do with the relaunch of its most popular model. Not every automaker has the wherewithal, the capability, and the consistent day-in-day-out appeal to introduce, for example, a popular new Toyota Camry without losing sales of the old model in the lead-up to that introduction. Mini Cooper/Cooper S Hardtop sales fell 8% in 2013, as the brand’s slight 1% growth was attributed to the Countryman and newer variants, Roadster and Paceman. Only in July of this year did there appear to be a reversing of the trend as Hardtop volume jumped 21%.

Regardless of the heights Mini achieves with its new cars – remember, they’re expanding the range by expanding the car – should we really be surprised that a brand which appeals to a relatively limited portion of the car-buying public would be relying on the success of its higher-riding models?

Acura is another shining example of the trend. Their car sales have been plunging for some time, and are down 32% so far this year, even as their crossover sales have jumped 20% compared with the first eight months of 2014. The RDX and MDX account for 69% of Acura’s U.S. sales in 2014.

Land Rover now outsells Jaguar by more than three-to-one in the United States. As recently as 2004, Jaguar was outselling Land Rover. Our Chart Of The Day late last month showed the CR-V’s steady rise toward the top of the Honda pecking order.

Why should Mini be any different? Aside from, well, you know, the name of the brand, which signifies a deep-seated affiliation with things small and, dare we say it, miniature.

Things could be different soon enough. Mini may be able to take advantage of the Fiat 500’s decreasing appeal – 500 sales are down 11% in 2014 – and the Volkswagen Beetle’s Volkswagen-like performance in 2014 – Beetle sales are down 31% over the last eight months. Indeed, despite the succinct contempt thrown its way by our managing editor in June, perhaps the 5-door Mini is exactly what the brand needs to keep from turning into Great Britain’s next Land Rover.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

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  • Mjz Mjz on Sep 15, 2014

    They keep getting bigger and bigger, they need to change the brand name to MIDI.

  • Darex Darex on Sep 15, 2014

    I have a 2014 F56 MINI Hardtop, and it's a fantastic car in every respect. The sooner MINI gets the F56's engines, dash layout and chassis into the Countryman line-up, the better off MINI will be as a whole, but unfortunately, it's still a year off (or longer? I forget).

    • See 2 previous
    • Quentin Quentin on Sep 16, 2014

      @darex Cool! They really are charming little cars. Enjoy!

  • Grg I am not sure that this would hold up in snow country. It used to be that people in snow country would not be caught dead in a white car. Now that white cars have become popular in the north, I can't tell you how many times I have seen white cars driving in the snow without lights. Almost all cars are less visible in a snow storm, or for that matter, rain storm, without lights. White ones become nearly invisible.
  • Douglas I have a 2018 BMW 740e PHEV, and love it. It has a modest electric only range compared to newer PHEV's (about 18 miles), but that gets me to the office and back each day. It has a small gas tank to make room for the battery, so only holds about 11 gallons. I easily go 600 or more miles per tank. I love it, and being able to take long road trips without having to plug in (it just operates like a regular Hybrid if you never plug it in). It charges in 75 minutes in my garage from a Level 2 charger I bought on Amazon for $350. Had an electrician add a dryer outlet beside the breaker box. It's the best of both worlds and I would definitely want a PHEV for my next car. 104,000 miles and ZERO problems with the powertrain components (so far).
  • Panther Platform I had a 98 Lincoln Mark VIII so I have a soft spot for this. The Mark VIII styling was not appreciated by all.
  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...
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