Mini Ends Production of the Clubman
Production has officially ended on the Mini Clubman, with the automaker giving its farewell address for the model which saw nearly 21,000 deliveries inside the United States for 2023. While the brand isn’t known for trading in high volumes, Clubman deliveries have been hovering around 20,000 units for the last few years. That’s down from a peak of roughly 54,000 units in 2008.
Despite being a favorite among women wanting something unique and a little fun, the Clubman started a little higher than mainstream rivals and rarely offered comparable levels of practicality. It was really more of an alternative for people who wanted a Mini Cooper but fretted over the prospect of there not being sufficient interior space.
It’s also incredibly likely that the Clubman was being cannibalized by the Countryman or vice versa. While the latter is technically a little larger, a tad more expensive, and is configured more like an SUV, the cars are extremely similar from a practical standpoint. The only thing that’s really interesting about the duo is that Mini elected to keep the one that wasn’t selling as well. Our guess is that Mini is under the impression that would-be Clubman buyers will simply pivot to the Countryman or decide they can work with the smaller Cooper.
The automaker revealed the all-new Countryman (which includes an all-electric variant) earlier this year and the model seems to be moving closer toward SUV status. However, this has been the trend for most crossovers of late — which may also explain BMW Group’s hesitance to continue investing into the Mini Clubman.
However, Clubman faithful will eventually see the Aceman debut as basically an all-electric version of what the discontinued model would have probably evolved into. The assumption is that the Aceman will be slotted between electrified versions of the Cooper and Countryman with a price to match. But the concept version was likewise less wagon-like than the Clubman, making us a little worried that the Aceman might step on the toes of battery driven versions of the Countryman.
Either way, we’ll have to wait and see what actually shakes out of the factory. The Aceman hasn’t officially debuted yet and it’ll be some time before Mini spins up an assembly line for the new model. Meanwhile, Clubman production is officially over for good.
"We are incredibly proud to have built the Mini Clubman at Plants Oxford and Swindon over the last 18 years for customers all over the world," said Dr. Markus Gruneisl, CEO of the BMW-owned facilities located in Oxford and Swindon. "With its departure, we look ahead to welcoming members of the new MINI family to our Oxford and Swindon lines, including a new convertible model which we will start to produce at the end of this year."
[Images: BMW Group]
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A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.
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