Mini Sales Shrinking, BMW Slumps As Well

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

BMW of North America today reported falling BMW and Mini U.S. fourth quarter and full-year 2020 sales.

BMW sales in the most recent quarter totaled 98,750 vehicles, a 2.0-percent decrease from the 100,797 vehicles sold in the fourth quarter of 2019. Mini sold 8,549 cars, a decrease of 3.6 percent from the 8,864 sold in that same time period.

For the full year, BMW sales dropped 17.5 percent on sales of 278,732 versus 338,003 vehicles sold in 2019. Meanwhile, Mini sales shrank 22.4 percent on sales of 28,138 cars, against 36,272 sold the previous year, more telling than the decrease that took place in the fourth quarter. Industry-wide, J.D. Power and LMC Automotive have projected total 2020 U.S. new vehicle sales to be about 14.5 million units, a 14.8 percent decline compared to 2019.

Despite the dismal report, a more positive spin came from Bernhard Kuhnt, BMW of North America president and CEO, who said, “There is no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year for automotive sales, but we have found that these challenges were due more to the circumstances, rather than consumer demand.”

Perhaps, but then there are used car sales as an indicator, and here BMW Certified Pre-Owned sales were off 20.5 percent the last quarter, falling to 25,811 vehicles. For the full year, CPO sales were 108,593 vehicles, a decrease of 9.3 percent from the 119,682 vehicles sold in 2019.

BMW pre-owned sales were 52,573 vehicles during the fourth quarter of 2020, a decrease of 21.9 percent from the same quarter last year. For all of 2020, total BMW Pre-Owned sales were 214,155, a decrease of 15.5 percent from the 253,456 vehicles sold in 2019.

As bad as that sounds, Mini CPO sales were 2,175 vehicles during the last quarter, a decrease of 21.2 percent from the same quarter a year ago. For the full year, Mini CPO sales were 9,488, a 25 percent decrease from the 12,648 vehicles sold the year prior.

Total used Mini sales were 5,310 vehicles during the fourth quarter, a 22.6 percent decrease from a year ago. For the full year, total used Mini sales were 22,426, a 24.6 percent drop from the 29,761 vehicles sold in 2019.

Sales of BMW passenger cars, light trucks, and Mini cars, reported in today’s figures are consistent with industry practices in the U.S. BMW adheres to the U.S. Auto Industry Sales Release Schedule issued annually by Motor Intelligence for purposes of reporting sales of BMW cars, light trucks, and Mini cars.

[Images: Mini, BMW]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • FalconRTV FalconRTV on Jan 07, 2021

    Older BMWs good, interesting. New BMWs unreliable, ugly. What were they thinking with that new grille? The resale market is the best way to identify good from bad, hence nobody wants a pre-owned BMW.

  • Uofsc93 Uofsc93 on Feb 05, 2021

    I owned 4 BMWs in the early and late aughts, it was my brand and we were loyal, but Tesla killed that after my first test drive. I just can't justify over paying for Supreme Unleaded and getting only 13 MPG for a car that will cost a grip to fix when it eventually breaks down.

  • Teddyc73 As I asked earlier under another article, when did "segment" or "class" become "space"? Does using that term make one feel more sophisticated? If GM's products in other segments...I mean "space" is more profitable then sedans then why shouldn't they discontinue it.
  • Robert Absolutely!!! I hate SUV's , I like the better gas milage and better ride and better handling!! Can't take a SUV 55mph into a highway exit ramp! I can in my Malibu and there's more than enough room for 5 and trunk is plenty big enough for me!
  • Teddyc73 Since when did automakers or car companies become "OEM". Probably about the same time "segment" or "class" became "space". I wish there were more sedans. I would like an American sedan. However, as others have stated, if they don't sell in large enough quantities to be profitable the automakers...I mean, "OEMs" aren't going to build them. It's simple business.
  • Varezhka I have still yet to see a Malibu on the road that didn't have a rental sticker. So yeah, GM probably lost money on every one they sold but kept it to boost their CAFE numbers.I'm personally happy that I no longer have to dread being "upgraded" to a Maxima or a Malibu anymore. And thankfully Altima is also on its way out.
  • Tassos Under incompetent, affirmative action hire Mary Barra, GM has been shooting itself in the foot on a daily basis.Whether the Malibu cancellation has been one of these shootings is NOT obvious at all.GM should be run as a PROFITABLE BUSINESS and NOT as an outfit that satisfies everybody and his mother in law's pet preferences.IF the Malibu was UNPROFITABLE, it SHOULD be canceled.More generally, if its SEGMENT is Unprofitable, and HALF the makers cancel their midsize sedans, not only will it lead to the SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST ones, but the survivors will obviously be more profitable if the LOSERS were kept being produced and the SMALL PIE of midsize sedans would yield slim pickings for every participant.SO NO, I APPROVE of the demise of the unprofitable Malibu, and hope Nissan does the same to the Altima, Hyundai with the SOnata, Mazda with the Mazda 6, and as many others as it takes to make the REMAINING players, like the Excellent, sporty Accord and the Bulletproof Reliable, cheap to maintain CAMRY, more profitable and affordable.