By on January 6, 2021

Mini

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

Mini

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.

Mini

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.

Mini

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.”

Mini

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.

Mini

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.

Mini

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.

 

Mini

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]

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39 Comments on “Mini Sales Shrinking, BMW Slumps As Well...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Mini is a doomed brand in the US market, and BMW should cut its product offerings in half or more.

    • 0 avatar

      Mini really is past its sell by date. A played out idea that was really cool in 2002.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Agreed, and I think pricing is the culprit. Said it below, but I’ll say it again: who thought that selling a $35,000 tiny CUV with a three-cylinder engine was a valid strategy? Real performance would justify the pricing somewhat and might stem some of the bleeding. But as it is, who the heck takes a three-banger Mini Cooper over a similarly priced GTI?

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Corey,

        50% of the problem is that America is a driving nation. And Minis are incredibly uncomfortable cars. Who wants to spend their driving hours in the expensive penalty box?

        • 0 avatar
          Raven

          That may be the case now, but even with back surgery and stock seats in 1st gen, I could drive 6 hrs and barely notice I was sitting all that time…

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @Raven: I agree. DOn’t know about the current cars, but the 2003 R53 had plenty of room and comfortable seats you could spend hours in. Lots of power and great handling. I don’t see where it was a penalty box. No experience with the current version.

    • 0 avatar
      texasjack

      Don’t fear. BMW will foist a front wheel drive 4 cylinder mini with a BMW model slapped on. Oh, it already happened, it is called an X1.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        And I’d say the X1 is emblematic of the big issue with Mini – it’s the same basic vehicle as the Countryman, but the Mini’s only a few grand cheaper, and it has a base three-banger, whereas the BMW has a turbo four. And, of course, the X1 has a BMW badge. Any wonder why the Mini version isn’t selling?

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          I had a reality check yesterday, when I took our dog to the enclosed yard of a colleague who also has a large dog. He drives an X1. He said he liked it well enough. It’s been good to him, two unexpected repairs totaling three grand in six years, and he has 120k miles on it already. We talked about PHEVs and I mentioned the X3, but he said it’s simply too big for him. If he had asked me about the X1 back in the day, I would have LAUGHED at him. But yesterday, I found myself thinking: good for him.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    If BMW would redesign that modified Edsel grill, maybe more people would buy them. Maybe they should try the one they have had for years?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    If you dig a bit deeper into the figures, you see what’s happening here pretty much mirrors the overall industry:

    1) The first part of this year was HORRIFIC.
    2) Most of the bloodletting was in passenger-car sales. In BMW terms, that translates into “3-series,” and I bet if you dug into that model’s sales, you’d see a free-fall. Blame the Tesla Model 3, which has pretty much conquered the former 3-series market segment, and the fact that the new 3-series is singularly unimpressive.
    3) “Light truck” – i.e., CUV – sales were up for Q4 2021 versus Q4 2020. Expect BMW to go full “MOAAARRRRR CUV” from now on.
    4) And, yes, Mini is a joke. They need to a) go full CUV or die, and 2) stop it with the bad-joke/acid-trip pricing already. $35,000 for a three-banger? Who the f**k are these guys trying to kid?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “and the fact that the new 3-series is singularly unimpressive.”

      Is it? I haven’t driven one but the reviews seem decent as long as you get some type of sport package with it.

      I do agree that the Model3 is a big problem for this class though.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Haven’t driven a new 3-series but I have checked one out on a dealer lot…it looked and felt cheap to me. Same problem I had with the outgoing 3-series as well – pull the interior door handles and they creak badly, interior panels feel hollow, and on and on. Say what you will about the C-class, but it nails the “feels like money” test.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Doesn’t every Mercedes short of the S-Class have a creaking interior problem though?

          youtu.be/swplZPJT2A0

          A big reason why I went with the Stinger in ’18 was that I just didn’t feel the premium brands were bringing enough over the Kia to justify the fairly large price difference. That said, the current-gen M340i is very fast so I’ll probably check it out next time I’m buying.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            ajla,

            when I saw $75K E-class with 4cyl, I thought, WTF? Well, did you see markets go up? Money printing is about to start. Expect his cost $100K now. But who needs it? Or who can buy it?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I actually drove a few off-lease C-classes when I bought my Audi – the ones I sampled had all held up quite well, certainly better than the comparable 3-series BMWs I drove. My main turnoff with the C-class was the engine, which sounded clattery, almost like a diesel. It’s also not much fun to drive. But I think Mercedes nailed the “bougie” thing with the C-class – it definitely looks posh inside.

            And I agree with you on the Stinger versus “luxury” brands – aside from some cheaper interior bits, I don’t see much difference either. The G70 is far better in that respect, but I’d miss the hatch in the Stinger.

            In a couple of years when the A3 is on its’ way out, I’d be HIGHLY interested in a CPO Stinger or G70.

  • avatar
    markf

    I said it before, Mini sales tanked because every chubby, Middle-Aged housewife who wanted one has already bought one.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    There’s a lot going on with the BMW slump, but let’s cover the highlights:

    – They’ve abandoned their core audience and are now chasing lux buyers
    – Insipid design
    – Resources previously used for cars are now used for their pricey SUVs and it shows when sitting in their sedans under $50k.
    – Say it with me – poor reliability.

    MINI is even worse:

    – Worse reliability than BMW. That’s amazing.
    – Pricing modeled after Porsche, but without the cache, style, driving dynamics, power, materials quality, etc.
    – Where do you go when SUVs are popular and your name is MINI?

    BMWs still drive well… as long as you’re upgrading the suspension, seats, stereo to above $50k+. I’m just not sure how many people are interested in unreliable, pricey, overly complicated, difficult to repair, questionably designed vehicles. Especially when the mysterious virus of unknown origin is under control and people are still working remotely.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Forgot to mention….

      Received info on a class action lawsuit against BMW for their high failure water pumps and thermostats. The suit covers BMWs from 2007-2019 and covers every turbo charged engine they’ve made during that time.

    • 0 avatar
      turiMaximo

      “– Pricing modeled after Porsche, but without the cache, style, driving dynamics, power, materials quality, etc.”

      Seems like you haven’t even driven a MINI and have no idea what MINIs are. MINI HAS everything you’ve mentioned – the cache, style, driving dynamics, power, and materials quality – Go drive the current hardtop model that originally debuted back in 2014.

      The problem in the US isn’t the product itself, which puts it in the league of its own, but rather shifting consumer taste and market positioning which rejects small premium cars here in US.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        I have. Drove a 2019 Countryman. Compared to a similarly priced Macan, it’s not even close. The MINI felt dopey in materials and layout. I do love the cool toggle switches, but the rest of the car was just meh. At nearly $50k, gotta do better than that.

        The kitschy vibe is done.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Bottom line is you are going to have to update your cars sooner than later. Same goes for Fiat, nostalgic design can only take you so far. For BMW, yea that grill is off-putting, but so is the price. The cheapest model in my area (according to cars.com) is $36,395 for a X1 Sdrive 281i I don’t know about you, but a little SUV with FWD and an auto is not what I would want in a BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      That may be, but there are a lot of people who DO want that in a BMW; meanwhile, the number of people like you and I who would want a “real” BMW are fewer in number every day. Take a look at 3-series and 5-series sales for the last few years and you’ll see what’s happening.

      I think the truth of the matter is that the same people who would be buying a BMW 3-series (or Mercedes C-class, for that matter) 10 years ago are now buying Tesla Model 3s. Love it or hate it (and for the record, I’d buy one if not for that stupid IPad dashboard), the Model 3 is what the 3-series used to be: the official go-to yuppiemobile.

      Tesla really has upended the luxury *car* market, particularly in the traditional 3-series segment. We’ll see how they do with CUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        turiMaximo

        THIS. Tesla Model 3 is really eating 3 series, C-class, and A4 for lunch and is defacto “Model 3 is what the 3-series used to be: the official go-to yuppiemobile.”

  • avatar
    JMII

    Just echoing what others have said –

    Mini is not a brand… its a style. Thus, like Fiat, it was doomed from the get go. Its like having an entire brand built around a VW Beetle. Now that small and cute is no longer “cool” Mini is done. Mini was known for goofy interiors and poor reliability, not exactly a winning combination. My wife considered one but couldn’t get past the silly interior treatment.

    I guess people can now stop complaining about the Bangle butt BMWs since the massive grille appears to be a new low point in styling. BMW will continue to crank out various CUV/SUV things while producing a few powerful sedans and maybe some desirable coupes so I wouldn’t worry too much about them.

    • 0 avatar
      turiMaximo

      MINI isn’t done. Have you looked at its global sales? Stagnant? Yes, but it’s doing rather OK in the Asian and European markets. It’s just the market really has shifted in the US market and MINI needs to figure out what it wants to do here in US.

  • avatar
    bufguy

    I’ve owned 4 BMW’s and loved them all but with the exception of the M2 or perhaps a 240 none of them excite me.
    My first two BMW’s were a 318ti nd a 325ci…both pretty basic and affordable with manual transmission, normally aspirated engines and very few options. As an enthusiast they were great entries to BMW….Those types of cars don’t exist at BMW anymore….My last BMW which I still have is a 2007 Z4 3.0si coupe…Beautifully styled, 6 speed manual, normally aspirated and an ignition with a key you insert and turn to start….I will keep it forever because there is nothing compelling from BMW

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    I’ve always wanted a Mini but the pricing needs to be reasonable. I don’t want a $20,000 car with $10,000 worth of options. BMW needs to provide some value and not try to treat the Mini like a premium car – it ain’t that premium. And they need to work on their reliability or offer a very long warranty to compensate, which is what Kia did to great success.

  • avatar
    DAC17

    The M2 and M240i are pretty much the only good-driving BMW’s left for those (shrinking number of us) who prefer a driver’s car.

  • avatar

    So it turns out that Mini is more exclusive brand than mass market BMW.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    BMW is addressing the slump in sales with a brand new Schnozola on all platforms. Oink, oink.

    The MINI, she ‘as ‘ad ‘er day, mate. Poke it with a stick. Did it move? No? It’s done.

  • avatar
    Raven

    When BMW execs are scratching their heads they need not look any further than the closest mirror. It’s BMW mentality and old BMW philosphy which has corrupted the brand…..Look at the Original BMW 3 series …In lieu of making a larger model they just kept making it bigger and bigger and bigger and more expensive until they lost their demographics of buyer who then moved to ANOTHER BRAND. Then allbeit too late, they end up building smaller models like the 1 and the 2 series to win them back….

    If you want to fix what is wrong with MINI, BMW has to LET IT GO and let it stand on it’s own, with their own executives pushed up through the ranks of MINI, and not some hack(s) whose worked for BMW for the last 20 yrs who will inevitably bring his/her “bad habits with them…..

    Jack Pitney would NOT be proud !

  • avatar
    dantes_inferno

    BMW – Breaking Wallets since the late 20th century…

  • avatar
    FalconRTV

    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.

  • avatar
    uofsc93

    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.

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