MINI USA Sales up a Shocking 84% for August

Countryman Cooper S ALL4 46

MINI USA reported the best August ever with sales of 5,718 automobiles, an increase of 83.9 percent from the 3,109 sold in August, 2011. What’s driving this increase? The volume leaders are (as expected) the R56 hardtop and the R60 Countryman. In fact the Countryman broke the 2,000 unit barrier for a month in August which would have normally surpassed hardtop sales if it wasn’t for an almost 50% increase of sales for MINI’s stalwart model.

Year-to-date, MINI sales in the U.S. are up 15.9 percent on volume of 43,632 compared to 37,636 in the first eight months of 2011.

What about the Coupe and Roadster? They were within five units of each other with the Roadster leading the month by selling 233 units (versus 228 for the Coupe). Interestingly the four seater convertible sold 411 units – dramatically more than the better looking and better driving Roadster. Also losing out was the Clubman with only 463 units sold versus 2,050 for the very slightly larger Countryman.

  • Ian Cull

    Countryman surpassed 2000 for the third time, but this was just highest. Impressive performance!

  • Barry

    Looks like MINI saved BMW’s bacon

  • Gil

    Trying to wrap my brain around the Cabrio vs Roadster numbers. Is there still some sense of practicality that cajoles folks into a rear seat? Or are there just that many more ‘verts sitting on existing lots with nearby sales staff anxious to push them on buyers to reduce the inventory? I can’t even fathom selecting a Convertible over a Roadster.

    • Gabriel Bridger

      I think it’s more of the latter.

      via mobile

    • NoHoR56

      Rear seats are essential for certain demographics. I bought a Porsche Boxster when they first came out and used to go to various gatherings. In broad terms the owners there tended to be young single professionals (who were starting to make some good money) and retirees whose kids had left home. Why? These were mostly people who used the car as a daily driver and didn’t need a back seat. Few with families. I had young kids but I was a rarity and as my kids got older the practicality of having a daily driver with no back seat became more and more apparent. (Needing to pick up child with a friend, etc.)

      I looked into it a little and discovered that this is a key difference between a 911 and, say, a 2-seat Ferrari: the 911 driver typically uses the car as a daily driver and has a family. The Ferrari owner typically is wealthy enough to have it as a 3rd car. These are broad generalities, but it’s a big factor for a lot of people. I, too, like the MINI roadster very much but owning one would require some logistics issues in my family.

  • JackMac

    At intriduction, MINI USA expected the Countryman to become their top selling vehicle. Looks like that goal may soon be realized, especially as we get closer to the winter months.

    • Nathaniel Salzman

      If memory serves, there have been one or two stand-alone months where the R60 sold a handful more units than the R56 here in the USA, but it hasn’t taken over. I suspect it never will. The hatch is still the center of the brand and will be for the forseable future. Even those buying the R60 are often drawn to the brand via the flagship car (the hatch) and are opting for the R60 because of a need for greater utility.

      • Gabriel Bridger

        I don’t believe that’s ever been the case but I’m Ian would know.

        • Nathaniel Salzman

          The Countryman was within a couple hundred units in January 2012 and less than a hundred fewer in October of last year, but you’re right, it hasn’t quite edged out the Hatch just yet. Those two months are outliers though, with the Hatch the clear sales winner every other month, sometimes selling double the Countryman. Memory, it would seem, did not serve…

  • JackMac

    MINI USA sales figures represent units sold by MINI to dealerships. Just want to point out that these are not consumer/retail sales numbers. Correct?

    • Phil

      Incorrect. It is retail sales by dealers, cars sold to end users.

  • Bill in Phoenix

    I have a cabrio, and do use the back seat. We don’t have any kids, but a dog. There are times when we need to pick a friend up to go somewhere. I’m glad they have both.