MINI to carry four nameplates to be more profitable in long term

Article by Christian A., on January 7, 2015

Sooner or later, Mini will just be offering four nameplates instead of the current seven. BMW Group decided to trim the brand’s lineup to ensure that it could become more profitable in the long term as three of its current nameplates -- the Coupe, Roadster and Paceman – have been slow-selling.

In fact, the four other nameplates accounted for around 95 percent of Mini’s volume in 2013, according to data from IHS Automotive. BMW decided to revolve its budget around these nameplates and will simplify Mini's platform and plant lineup. Max Warburton, an auto analyst at Bernstein Research, remarked that BMW has struggled to make Mini “into a profit center from the beginning."

He noted that Mini’s products are built on a low-volume platform and it has undergone "all sorts of complex model line proliferation,” which according to him is hardly a recipe for making money, when compared to BMW-branded products.

Mini currently offers seven nameplates underpinned by three platforms built in three plants. For the past three years, Mini’s annual volume amount to around 313,000 vehicles.

Once Mini starts offering a leaner lineup underpinned by a single platform, Warburton said, the brand could become more financially viable. That platform will also be shared by BMW brand models like the 2-series Active Tourer and the next-generation 1 series.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW board member in charge of Mini, remarked last year that it is important to find the right balance between growth and profitability.

He said that the carmaker will focus on "superhero" vehicles including the three- and five-door models of its core Hatch, the Countryman and the Clubman station wagon.

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