Mini will concentrate on three "pillar" models as it bids to be “more relevant for more people,” Oliver Friedmann, the brand's head of product management, told Automotive News Europe at the Geneva Motor Show. “Our first priority is to roll out a portfolio that has strong pillars and to be absolutely clear what each stands for.”
Friedmann identified the two pillars as the newly launched subcompact hatchback and the current Countryman compact SUV. A compact-sized Clubman-based model unveiled in Geneva could be the third pillar. “If it comes, it will be a separate strong pillar,” he remarked.
Clubman concept is around 260mm longer than the current model and features four conventional doors instead of current single half-door. The shift to practicality may mean that the Coupe and Roadster are to be discontinued.
“It’s not decided but most probably this is not a priority,” Friedmann said. The Paceman coupe version of the Countryman could also be discontinued when the SUV is eventually replaced. “Paceman is also not a first priority,” Friedmann added. Mini posted just small sales of the niche models, according to figures from analyst IHS Automotive.
In 2013, Mini sold 3,858 Coupes, 2,678 Roadsters, 7,485 Clubmans and 8,229 Pacemans in Europe. On the other hand, Mini sold 47,177 Countrymans and 78,102 hatchbacks.
“The Coupe and Roadster are selling far below where Mini’s key models are and I think in some respects are quite poorly executed,” IHS senior analyst Ian Fletcher told Automotive News Europe. [source: Autoblog]