Breaking: MINI Clubvan to See Production, Sell in USA

We’ve just received confirmation that the Clubman-based MINI “Clubvan” concept we saw at Geneva earlier this year is in fact headed for real world production. Additionally, we’ll see the stylish little hauler make its way state-side. First heard at Car and Driver and now confirmed by our sources, we expect the Clubvan to go on-sale sometime in the 2nd half of 2012.

No word yet on pricing, but you can expect everyone from your local florist to the occasional repairman adding this MINI to their service fleet — their branding stretching from one end to the other.

While hardly a ground-breaking idea, it’s an interesting acknowledgement of a real-world way that small businesses are already using small cars as both transportation and advertising. Would you add a Clubvan to your business?

Written By: Nathaniel Salzman

  • http://www.facebook.com/gbmini Ian Cull

    I’ll be curious about the claim that it will come to USA … look at the very successful Ford Transit and how it has to be brought to USA with windows which are then stripped out, to avoid import penalties http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125357990638429655.html

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      I asked that question in Geneva and no one had an answer about the import regs…. (That is the same reason the Subie brat had seats in the back!)

      Why would you pay more for the MINI without any of the function of the Transit? (Seriously) I have 4 friends with small businesses that own Transits or in the process of getting one. The Clubvan may fit with Florists or something like that but that is it in my opinion. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/dean.cory Dean Cory

    Would look GREAT with some Detroit Tuned logos on it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1788430190 Sharon Santore-Fayash

    Grab one while you can because I doubt they’ll be around long.  Chevy dropped the HHR Panel for a reason. 

    • b-

      Yeah, except the HHR was built to compete with the PT Cruiser, both are automotive jokes, both mini vans without the utility of a mini van.  The Clubvan is an easy and cheap way for MINI to offer another alternative for a small business that wants a bit of hauling utility and good gas milage in a package that looks good.  I don’t see them changing much, there will still be glass in the back, covered in vinyl.  A flat floor and whatever other interior changes will not be too expensive either.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1788430190 Sharon Santore-Fayash

        Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept of a small hauler and I applaud MINI for seeing the need for the niche product.  In addition, we use an HHR Panel for our business.  Regardless of the quality (or lack thereof) they didn’t sell in the quantities that GM wanted.

        • b-

          Of course they didn’t sell because they were a minivan with only two seats.  The original sedan delivery vehicles that inspired the HHR were cool because they had two doors.  The HHR with the 4 door configuration was just odd to say the least.  If GM had made it a 2 door with longer doors then it would have sold better, no questions.  It is like a station wagon, 2 doors, cool, 4 doors, un-cool.  Like a Nomad is worth $$$ but a wagon is worth next to nothing.

          This is cool by default because it starts with the cool Clubman, not a 4 door minivan.

  • Michael Wilson

    I’m going to try and put an order in on Monday… It would look great parked next to my 1978 Mini Van!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523665212 Todd Pearson

    We’ll get to see the concept at MINI United in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing how the hauling space looks in person. The concept is limited to small, out of the ordinary businesses but isn’t that what the MINI is about? It’s not trying to compete with the Transit or the like but to offer small, unique businesses a choice of something different than a run-of-the-mill van or pick-up truck. 

    Of course it’s not for everyone but neither is the MINI. 

  • Aurel

    Sorry but I fail to see how this would be different than folding the back seats down and adding $300 worth of vinyl window wrap to the rear glass?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523665212 Todd Pearson

    …and what if the Clubvan isn’t a separate MINI at all but an option on any Clubman? Would it make more sense if it’s just an option pack?

    • b-

      I can see this as an option, it makes the most sense, the package gets you the body colored vinyl, rear seat delete, flat floor and the cargo partition.  It must be priced right because removing the rear seats and the vinyl are VERY cheap for a business owner to do or have done.  I don’t really see MINI going with a new rear lateral panel for the cargo section to keep the cost down.

    • Aurel

       that would make the most sense.

  • Trinigladiator

    This makes sense. I’ve seen a Clubman being used by a cellphone repair company.

  • Gerarddm

    The grille in back of the seats prohibits longer contents like 2x4s. Pity. I assume they will offer a roof rack to compensate…

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