BMW & MINI’s Small Car Strategy Revealed
(The following story was compiled with the help of Herr26 and BimmerFile)
BMW’s small car strategy is key to the automakers future success. Based on-going research BMW is expecting premium segment growth to primarily occur in small city carâ€™s , C-Segment Compact class, the D-Segment Small Sedan class and the small-mid sized SUV class.
Based on this BMW have invested in these three segments more than any other over the last few years. For the small City Cars it will be a three way attack with both the MegaCity vehicle, small BMW and the MINI. The C-segment is the 1er and D-Segment will be the 3er. Since the eruption of the global financial crisis one pattern discovered is that in most cases especially for BMW is that owners were downsizing. That means instead of buying the new 5 Series they’re looking at a 3er and instead of an X5 they’re looking at the X3 etc.
It is this line of thinking that has prompted BMW to invest in smaller vehicles. But beyond that BMW’s research has also shown that people will want/expect more functionality out of their cars and would want various concepts to suit their requirements.
Because of this the next 1 Series will follow the 3 Series with four different body styles. Especially with itâ€™s flexible backbone structure BMW will create two new 1 Series variants with the F20 generation; Z2 in Coupe and Roadster (rumors suggest these have been green-lit but BMW executive) and the 1er Gran Turismo and Compactive Sport Tourer (which are in final feasibility studies). Beyond these BMW is also investigating several other concept for a late lifecycle release.
The F30 3 Series will add a Gran Turismo model but BMW is also researching other concepts such as a Gran Coupe, Shooting Brake and Advanced Sport Tourer.
The MegaCity vehicle (likely using the sub-brand iSetta) will initially arrive as a five door four seater , followed by a three door two seater. If they prove successful BMW will then move on to a small Activity Vehicle as well as a Micro-Sports Car and Roadster.
With MINI BMW have successfully grown a one car brand into a four car line-up. But they’re not stopping at four. With the launch of the MINI Coupe next August and Roadster in March of 2012, MINI is aggressively filling out niches within the brand. And as we’ve reported on MotoringFile previously, MINI is also investigating other models such as a (non Megacity based) city car (rumored to be named MIN-i or MINI Minor) and the long rumored MINI progressive activity vehicle nicknamed the SpaceBox. And now with the strong public reaction to the MINI Beachcomber concept, BMW is considering creating a three door off-road coupe based off of the Countryman.
Because each of these cars are heavily based off a donor platform (either a 1 Series, MCV or Countryman) they are projected to be very cost effective. Each car would share engines, powertrains and technology making for a easy way for BMW produce new products quickly and cost effectively.
One example of this is the MINI CoupÃ© scheduled to be released in about a years time. While the car was made possible by using a donor platform (the R57), MINI recognizes that it must have a unique feel and even better handling than the standard MINI. The idea is to make it the most nimble and chuck-able new MINI ever. Think of it as the 1M of the MINI world.
The first results of this strategy are certainly looking positive. The MINI Countryman’s production allotment is already 50% sold without production even starting (and that’s without the US market even launching the vehicle). On the BMW side the X1 has seen similar success with over 40,000 sold since it’s launch in 2009.
The one thing that won’t change is what MINI is. BMW is convinced that MINI cannot stay true to its heritage if a variant grows in size beyond four meters in length. So while the range may be expanding, the vehicles themselves won’t forget the core principles of the brand.
The same may not be able to be said for BMW’s 1 Series. Yes the next generation F20 1 Series will be rear will drive based. However BMW’s MINI twin (which will be marketed as a variation of the 1 Series) will be front wheel drive and will take the brand into an entirely new realm.
Despite this it’s easy to think about BMW and MINI focusing on small cars as exciting for enthusiasts. Quick, nimble and efficient, these are some of the attributes of the best MINIs and BMWs from years past. It’s encouraging to know that they’ll be playing a large part in each brand’s future as well.
Written By: Gabe
Sort by MINI model
- Team X-Raid Preps for the Dakar in Epic Video
- MINI Celebrates 10 Years of Diesel
- MINI’s Decade of Concepts & Turmoil (w/Gallery)
- Frank Stephenson: MINI Has Lost it
- MINI USA Sales Down 13% for November
- MINI Final Test Test Drives Contest Video
- Head of MINI USA Jim McDowell to Retire
- MINI’s New Four Doors: F55 Hatch & F54 Clubman
- Pre-production Rover R50 Prototype Shell Shows up on eBay
- MotoringFile Review: the All Electric BMW i3
- The First Official M3/M4 Teaser Video
- BMW Motorrad Surpasses 2012 Sales in November 2013
- Video: M235i RACING From BMW Motorsport
- BMW Motorsport Announces Changes for 2014 – Priaulx Moves to Team RLL
- The BMW i3 on the Streets of LA
- New M4 to Launch in Gran Turismo 6
- Chris Harris Drives the DTM M3
- BMW NA Sales Up 1.7% for November
- BMW R NineT Goes into Production
- BMW Motorrad Goes Bollywood
- The Custom Postie Bikes of Post Modern Motorcycles
- The Vespa Segway
- The 2013 $2,000 Scooter Shoot Out
- Honda’s US Scooter Lineup for 2014
- Video: Vespa Offering Air-cooled, 3V, 125cc GTS Super in Vietnam
- Customs: B.R. Moto’s Honda Helix
- Android App Helps UK Two-wheelers Find Parking
- Video: Bloomberg on the Vespa 946
- ‘Quadrophenia’ Lambretta Replica Fetches $209,000 for (RED)
- From the Archives: Our Review of the Genuine Blur SS220i
MINI Model Cheat Sheet
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F55: Five Door Hatch
F60: MINI Crossover
Advertise with MotoringFile
MotoringFile Buyers GuidesR50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
R53 ('02-'06 MCS) Buyers Guide
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range