By on October 13, 2016

2015 Mini Countryman green

Mini continues to inflate the size of its vehicles, and the redesigned Countryman is expected to be the biggest yet.

The company’s global head, Sebastian Mackensen, tells Automotive News Europe that the new vehicle will grow in the same way as the second-generation Clubman. He also claims the next Countryman will be more SUV-like, and for a very specific reason.

“The passenger car segment over the last two years is not growing like the truck segment but actually shrinking, and that is where we compete,” Mackensen explained.

The prominent factor here is size. Mini initially stretched the Cooper by 9.4 inches to create the Clubman, accommodating people who may want to sit in the back without breaking their legs off. But the car eventually grew by an additional foot in length, adding rear doors, 4.6 inches of girth, and 356 pounds in its second generation. A similar increase in volume would place the Countryman in Ford Escape territory — which wouldn’t exactly make it a petite vehicle.

But the reasoning here is sound.

The Escape was the second-best selling Ford in America last year. Competing in the crowded, growing crossover market has everything to do with why Mini is plumping up the Countryman. Sales of the Cooper have improved since the Clubman variant grew in size. North American sales for the car were up by 11,008 units in 2015 from a slump in the previous year. During the same period, Countryman sales dropped by 6,565 vehicles.

But the Ford Escape sold extremely well last year — 290,362 more than both Mini models. Mini wants its Countryman to soak up sales in that segment as soon as possible.

The next-generation Countryman is expected to debut next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. A plug-in-hybrid version follows soon after, with the possibility of a future John Cooper Works performance variant.

[Image: BMW Group]

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20 Comments on “Mini Makes a Name Misnomer with Larger Countryman...”


  • avatar
    redliner

    Mini should be branded as two separate brands. “MINI” all upper case is larger cars and “mini” all lower case would be the smaller offerings.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    It will be a MINI styled X1 for a tad less money.

    Wife loves her 16 Clubman S.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Can’t wait for peak irony/contradiction that rips a hole in the space time continuum
    – THE MINI MAXI!

    • 0 avatar

      Mini Maxi sounds like a brand name for tampons or pads.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Ronnie writes about what he knows best.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Vogo, that was pretty gratuitous and uncalled for.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Mike, I would agree if I wasn’t aware of the context.

            One TTAC editor likes to take my quotes out of context on his private TTAC after-hours website, and write screeds attacking it. Then he and his TTAC-reject commentators, including Ronnie, use this as an opportunity to dump all over me, without even giving me the courtesy of informing me of the attacks, many of which are personal.

            So at this point, I don’t really care how my comments are interpreted. I know what Ronnie is.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            Fruits and nuts like you are what give large swaths of the country a bad name. You claim the high ground while attacking people out of the blue and making what I have to hope are deliberately, provocatively misguided political statements.

            If you cannot learn perspective from the way people respond to what you say, reverting to adolescence isn’t the answer, unless you’re only here because you can’t say what you’d like to when you’re making eye contact with other people.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Brenshluss,
            It’s a little hard to respond to such vague allegations.

            Could you please clarify whether you see me as a fruit or a nut, and which particular country swaths I’ve hurt. And while you are at it, any particular guidance you can offer on which of my political statements are egregiously misguided in a provocative manner – would be super.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Oh, hell… VoGo’s back.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Silver lining: you had a nice 5 day respite.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            Clarification, in order:

            1. Your average trail mix, so primarily nut since fruit is more expensive.

            2. Depending on your boogeyman, either “The Coasts” or the nearest city where one believes people who can barely tie their shoes inexplicably make a good living creating the paperwork which prevents work from being done.

            3. That which caused such an egregious assault upon your ego to bring it up non-sequitur might be a start, but it carries the same tone and message as almost all others you make so I have better things to do, including drinking hard liquor, than to quote whatever else you’ve said in the past few months that would come up in a Googly search.

            I hope this is helpful.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Vogo, Jack did not take your comments out of context. It was clear what you said about immigration. You refused to engage on this site about it.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Mike,
            When I want to debate someone, I tell them upfront and give them the fair opportunity to engage on equal terms.

            I don’t pull out a portion of their comment behind their back on a site they don’t know about and use it as a foil and bait for the alt/right attack dogs that populate Jack’s site.

            If Jack had faith in the strength of his argument, he would not have behaved like a coward.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Vogo, I tried to engage you in debate on that topic and you didn’t engage me back. I know you will have some excuse or reason, but the fact is you dodged it and it was not snippets on another site.

  • avatar
    Click REPLY to reload page

    This largest model should be named as an acronym for what it is: the MINI Performance Automotive Device.

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    I lost interest in Mini ever since they started selling cars for upward of $25K with 3 cylinders. I know it sounds good, and it’s got a turbo, yeah, yeah. It’s still a stupid 3 cylinder. Last car with 3 cylinders i remember is Geo Metro, and you could buy 2 of them for same money.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Mini, like its BMW parent, is beginning to lose its way. Neither brand means much to me anymore.

  • avatar
    zipper69

    Since BLMH had The Maxi as well as The Mini it’s not too big a stretch (odds are it’s copyrighted by some sleazebag).

    Whole range could be: MINI – MIDI – MAXI

  • avatar
    05lgt

    This makes sense if you think of Mini as a separate entity from BMW. Since they’re not a separate maker, but rather a sub mark/branding/marketing/sales channel thing there’s no need for a brand that owes it’s existence and success to smallish (looking) cars to chase sales across the whole spectrum of personal vehicles. Maybe they should make a full size pickup too? Ford sells even more of those. Nonsense. Someone wants to grow his own fiefdom and bonus package and doesn’t care what it does to shareholder value.


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