How Many Pacemans Could Mini Sell If Mini Could Sell Pacemen?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
how many pacemans could mini sell if mini could sell pacemen

Or, how many Pacemans could a pace man sell if a pace man could sell pace?

The answer, at least in the United States: not very many.

• 4176 Cooper Hardtops sold in December

• Only 129 Paceman sold in December

• 2014 was the best year yet for the Countryman

Mini won’t be extending the Paceman’s lifecycle nor will the Paceman be replaced by a next-gen model when the current iteration is put out to pasture. Pacemans arrived in North America in March 2013. The nameplate averaged 243 monthly sales through the end of 2014.

Its best months were in November and December of 2013, when 631 and 650 Paceman sales, respectively, were reported by BMW USA. Mini USA sold 1435 and 2055 Countrymans in November and December 2013.

But by the second half of 2014, Paceman volume was plunging in the United States. Between June and January, year-over-year Paceman sales fell 53%, a loss of 1521 sales for a low-volume nameplate at a low-volume brand.

Most recently, November sales fell 57% and December volume took an 80% nosedive. Only twice in ten attempts did Paceman volume improve on a YOY basis: in April, when sales jumped 78% from 2013’s lowest output (95 units) to 169, and in May, when a 21% jump was followed up by June’s 41% loss.

So despite the author’s guilty-pleasure preference for the Paceman over the Countryman, the two-door high-riding Mini joined the Coupe and Roadster as Mini flops. Roadster sales fell 49% to just 1437 units in 2014. The Coupe was down 62% to 956 sales. This two-seat pair, together with the Paceman, accounted for 8% of Mini’s U.S. volume in 2014, down from 13% in 2013.

Mini’s overall 2014 U.S. sales results appear troubling, as well, at least at first glance. Following 2013’s record-setting volume, year-end sales were down 16% to a four-year low. However, the turnaround for the brand’s core Hardtop model, which arrived in third-gen form with full strength in the latter portion of the year, was striking. Fourth-quarter sales of the Hardtop jumped 53% to 9791 units, equal to 58% of the Mini brand’s Q4 total. As a result, overall Mini volume improved in each of 2014’s final two months despite the Paceman’s inability to sell pace, or rather, the Paceman’s inability to sell hardly anything at all.

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

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  • Boxerman Boxerman on Jan 30, 2015

    The new BMW mini offered great styling, and was great to drive, like a go kart, it was also a premium small car. Others now do premium small cars with styling, while minis have gotten fisheyed and ugly. In fact euro pedestrian laws have made the current crop of euro compliant cars fugly. Look at the front end of the new mustang, instead of being tight and slimming towards the front it gets bulbous. That effect is even worse on the fisheyed mini and the pacman is just fugly. BMW had a surprising hit when they came out with the mini, seems they cant figure out why. One reason why the mni worked is it was like the 2002 people who actualy drove appreciated the dynamics and quality in small stylish car. A bloated pacman is ugly and lacking in these qualities. BMW had a lock on the premium small car segement, marketing got carried away and now it s has a diffuse image all in the name of trying to expand sales, sometimes when you do that you erode the whole thing. Owning a niche means you have a niche, grow out of your niche and soemtimes you have nothing, Plus yeah they are kinda expensve for an ugly car that drives more or less Ok. In that sense no different to most new BMW models. Selling on a halo of brand cachet is not agood long term strategy.

    • Jgwag1985 Jgwag1985 on Jan 30, 2015

      So using your logic, Porsche diffused the whole brand by offering more models based on the appearance of one model? It's funny how people criticize one car but NEVER disclose what car they own, because they don't want to be on the receiving end of the same comments they dish out. The Paceman is clearly in proportion, unlike 911 inspired Porsches. The people that whine and complain about size are completely out of touch with reality, UNLESS YOU ALSO complain about the Porsche 911 adding 9.5 in wheelbase, over a foot in length and gaining 700lbs.(Cayman only 3 inches shorter than 911) How about the Civic? Did you complain about all the different versions? The sedan, the tall wagon, hatchback, awd? How about the Miata size vs the English sports cars that inspired it? How about the Honda CRX? When Honda brought back its successor the CRZ it gained over a foot in length and gained almost 700 lbs............comical. Talk about living in the past. How many auto manufactures have only 1 model of car with no other variants that sell for less then $30k? Haters got to hate.

  • BklynPete BklynPete on Jan 30, 2015

    I still think the Base, S and Roadster variants are fine and nimble, but everything else looks like a bloated blunderbus. Face it, BMW just got greedy.

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