Mini says increased demand for new three and five-door Mini and foreordained plans are bringing production of the Coupe and Roadster to an end.
Also, it turns out people didn’t want less practical versions of a car that already lacked a certain degree of flexibility.
Surely Mini would have thought twice about cancelling production of the two cars – or at least considered replacing them with new versions off the new Mini platform – had sales been strong.
Americans have registered only 6679 Mini Roadsters since the two-seat convertible arrived in 2012. Roadster volume jumped 18% in 2013, the first full year for the car, but 2014 sales plunged 49%. Only 65 were sold in January 2015, which actually represented a 12% uptick compared with January 2014.
The helmet-wearing Coupe, which went on sale in 2011, attracted 7351 U.S. owners through the end of January 2015. (Few Coupes are left; only 22 were sold last month.) Coupe sales jumped to a high of 2880 units in 2012, the car’s first full year, but slipped 12% in 2013 and plunged 62% in 2014.
But the Coupe and Roadster were never integral parts of the Mini USA lineup. Together, they generated just 8% of the brand’s volume in 2012 and 2013; just 4% in 2014.
Mini now turns its focus to its core models: the three-door Hardtop, the Countryman, and the new five-door model. Mini’s U.S. sales jumped 27% in January as the Hardtops generated two-thirds of the brand’s volume and the Countryman, though down 31%, brought in 23% of buyers. For every Clubman, Convertible, Coupe, and Roadster sold in January, Mini USA sold nine conventional Hardtop models.
While Mini continues to be a relatively small part of BMW USA’s portfolio, generating less than half the sales of the 3-Series/4-Series lineup in January, Mini’s home market is terribly keen.
22% of the BMW Group’s UK volume was Mini-derived in January. Mini owned 1.4% of the market (0.3% in the U.S.; 0.2% in Canada) and the brand ranked 21st overall, behind Mazda, Renault, and Volvo, but ahead of Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Dacia, Lexus, Jaguar, Porsche, Jeep, and Alfa Romeo.
This article also appeared today on The Truth About Cars.