Chart Of The Day: Mini Countryman Sales Are Crumbling In The United States
A rising tide lifts all boats?
Not in the Mini Countryman’s case.
One of the oldest models on the block, the Countryman, is suffering from a sharp decline in U.S. sales even as consumers develop greater interest in subcompact crossovers.
The addition of new rivals from rival automakers certainly doesn’t help. But the Countryman may also be affected by the arrival of a four-door version of the regular Mini Cooper. That Mini uses new engines and is significantly more economical.
Countryman volume is down 26 percent through the first seven months of 2015. Most recently, in July, year-over-year Countryman sales were off July 2014’s pace by 45 percent, a loss of 980 units.
Meanwhile, the category in which it competes is up 64 percent this year thanks to continued gains from vehicles like the Buick Encore and added sales from new urban crossovers like the Jeep Renegade and Honda HR-V. Subtract Mini from the equation and sales of these small, sometimes-AWD tall cars are up 74 percent.
The Countryman certainly lacks a certain freshness, and it wasn’t a terribly common vehicle at the best of times. (In the Countryman’s best ever month, August of last year, 2,412 were sold.) Through 56 months, Mini USA has reported 91,721 Countryman sales. Countryman volume peaked in 2014 after a 26-percent increase in 2012, a 1-percent uptick in 2013, and a 6-percent improvement last year.
Mini is on track for fewer than 17,000 Countryman sales in 2015, the approximate number of Countrymans sold in the model’s first full year.
Mini has, however, sold 9,297 copies of the Cooper 4-Door already this year, which more than makes up for the lost Countryman sales.
Perhaps true passenger cars can still be helpful, after all.
Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.
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Warning - comment full of opinionated and personal bias ahead. I wish more Mini models would die off like this one. The only model I liked was the first version when it was small, as it should be. All the rest are oversize market sub-segments that can't stand on their own merits/characteristics and have to rely on the Mini brand for survival.
Anyone walking into a Mini dealer today not specifically looking for the Countryman and needing its extra size or (optional) AWD will NOT drive away with one. I have the base 3cyl new 5dr, and in comparison the Countryman is an abysmal shitbox. Design, materials (OMG!!!), NVH, performance, etc.