The Mini brand accounted for 14.7% of all BMW Group USA volume in December 2012 and 19% in the full calendar year of 2012. Overall, Mini sales rose 15% in 2012 compared to 2011’s 57,511 U.S. sales.
Of the 8612 extra Mini sales, 2371 occurred because of the Roadster, which wasn’t on sale in 2011. The Coupe, which only found 953 in the latter stages of 2011, increased its total by 1927 units. Cooper Hardtop sales grew 4.3%, or 1211 units. And the Countryman, Mini’s second-best-selling variant in America, generated an extra 4329 sales, a 25.9% increase.
But that’s 9838 extra sales, and Mini volume in the United States only grew by 8612. Blame the Convertible just a little bit. Sales of the non-Roadster Mini droptop fell by 151 units, a 3% loss. Clubman sales slid 15.7%, or 1075 units, to 5769. The Clubman is still Mini’s third-best-selling variant, just as it was last year, but it only accounted for 8.7% of all Mini USA volume in 2012.
I remember listening to a conversation in which a youthful Porsche 911 fan was told by a Porsche aficionado that he, the youthful fan, should stop liking the 911 Targa. “It doesn’t fit with the 911 ethos,” the Porsche snob said. On paper, the aficionado was right – the Targa is a bit of a poseur’s Porsche. You can have a 911 that’s better drive if you purchase a basic 911 Carrera. But I’ve come to believe that what’s written down in physics textbooks isn’t always right in the automotive world.
How does this relate to Mini? As an auto enthusiast and a Mini fan, I feel that I’m not supposed to like the upcoming Mini Paceman. But seeing one on the road for the first time on New Year’s Eve, I do like it. A lot. And it makes the Countryman seem unnecessary and more than a little gauche. True, the JCW Paceman in the above image is a also bit over the top.
We’ll be seeing Mini Paceman sales in this chart soon, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t become a major player. After all, we’re not supposed to like these maxi Minis.