Worldwide MINI Sales down -9.6% for May 2014

MINI continues to struggle in building sales steam this year as the delayed F56 changeover and other new model production issues continue to hamper sales growth overall. Official statements say this downturn in year-over-year sales (and year-to-date sales which are down 12.4%) are inline with expectations due to the model changeover. We expect to see sales normalize later in the year and outpace previous sales F56 production is able to catch up to actual demand. We also expect that with the debut of the F55 four-door MINI fast approaching, overall sales are likely to rebound substantially.

Full chart after the break.

May 2014 Sales

In better BMW Group News, overall BMW Group sales were up +6.8% oveeral, despite struggles with MINI. The official word from BMW:

In May, 24,373 MINIs were delivered to customers (prev. yr. 26,958 / -9.6%). Year-to-date sales decreased 12.4% with a total of 103,158 units delivered (prev. yr. 117,697). This decrease in sales is in line with expectations and is due to the recent model change in the core MINI Hatch model. Customer interest in the new MINI is strong and this is expected to be reflected in the retail figures from summer onwards.

  • AMS

    In the past six months, my local MINI dealer has completely turned over their sales staff. Can’t help but wonder if the more experienced salespeople (newbies are VERY young) left for brands that are selling better in the short term.

    • Don Compton

      Your thought reminds why any Mini buyer would have faith in any Mini “motoring adviser”.

      • AMS

        Mine was nice enough, but I’m probably not a typical buyer. I never set foot on a dealer lot without already knowing everything I can – and usually more than the salesperson. Of course, I then play a little dumb, just to see if they’re going to lie to me.

  • b-

    Build an ugly car…

  • Aurel

    Have yet to see an F56 on the streets of NYC. I am pretty much all day on the road around the city and not one yet …


      I recall after the Countryman reached dealers some years back as well as the eventual low selling Paceman, it was along time coming before I saw either of them on the road, likewise with my ’12 JCWCoupe. Remember, the F56 didn’t go on the market here in the U.S. until late April combined with the factory delay of some specifically equipped ones. So it’s only been 1.5 months of actual deliveries.

    • R.O

      I saw an F56 Cooper S on the Freeway near San Francisco on Tuesday. Had not plates yet so I figure less than 60 days old.

  • Pete Mitchell

    run flats

  • crabbyolddad

    Maybe the novelty has worn off? While there is no direct comparison to the PT Cruiser, the vehicles have a live cycle. They run them and then they are done. Chrysler knew that. The original Mini had a following, this car is not much more than a BMW with a Mini like exterior. Had the original Mini run a typical life cycle it wouldn’t have looked the way it did at the end, but would have evolved to something quite different. (Only the original Beetle and the Morgan come to mind as other {relatively} unchanged vehicles) BMW has decided that the Mini brand can sustain a multitude of mutations and still keep the soul of the original concept. Sorry to say that they missed the mark, (or should I say Marque?) The current Mini (since ’01) has been nothing more than a niche vehicle. Not a bad thing, but nothing that can be built on. And adding to the potential troubles is the fact that the car is a BMW at heart and costs the same for repairs. The original Mini was as simple as a lawn mower and as easy to keep running. When a Mini convertible top won’t operate because the passenger side window motor is bad, we have a vehicle that is “slightly” beyond the ability of the weekend warrior to keep running without huge stacks of pound notes.

    I fully enjoy my Mini since getting it, but I have no doubt that it won’t be in my possession even as long as my ’94 Miata that I recently had for 8 years. I was burned once a long time ago by a used BMW. I don’t want it to happen again.

    • GoRixter

      Crabby, I don’t think the charm wears off, though I would argue the PT-C never had it. For me your second comment is more accurate. Reliability is just not there. Charge a premium price, better deliver premium quality (not just the go-kart ride)

      • Aurel

        I think the usual ads are not helping either. MINI needs to really focus on advertising the interior changes and tech of the new gen. Hwy billboards with just a profile of the car with some clever tagline does it no favors. To the untrained eye its the same car as it was in 2002.

        • Peter Fleming

          They need to get rid of the designer that did the new car. It’s terrible looking. I just saw my first one on the street and can’t help but think the front end is really going to hurt sales and the person that is cross shopping the all new Golf and GTI are not going to be happy with how this car performs. I haven’t driven the new S model yet, but I did drive a Cooper and while it’s got more power than the last Cooper, it didn’t feel punchy or powerful enough compared to the Golf TSI I have while on my European work stint. The new Golf is fantastic. I’m just hoping that VW preserves everything from the European model for the US. I’m really thinking of selling my beloved R53 JCW for the new GTI. As soon as I get back to the states full time, I’ll probably pull the trigger on one. However, back to the MINI… the videos I have seen online don’t show any improvement in acceleration on the S model from before. Actually, I ran two videos side by side and the R56 S pulled a little faster than the F56 S. I’ll have to get some more time behind the wheel of one to see how I really think it is, but if the S is anything like the base Cooper I drove, the steering was way to light and it had a lot of body roll. Two things I dislike strongly in any car, but never thought I would have to talk about when describing a MINI.

  • Rakey

    What isn’t helping is the lack of cars for dealers to sell, the only thing most of them seem to be able to get freely are Countryman or Paceman. Dealers I’ve spoken to have said getting extra hatch, convertible, roadster is impossible, and some customers are having to wait nearly 4 months for an order to arrive. It would seem that there is something not working right at Plant Oxford which is causing the lack of vehicles.

  • F56Disguist

    “I didn’t feel as confident because both ends of the car are bouncing and moving around a little bit. But I braked earlier, and it didn’t seem to have (a lot of) braking grip…It was a wild ride down to that bumpy fast kink…The new Mini is not as much a rotator as the old Mini. It went from a little bit of understeer to a snap oversteer and then back again.” – Randy Pobst

    This is the first true track test I’ve seen. Further confirmation it’s been dulled down. Definitely will not be buying one. They also mention how “anemic it feels” at high RPM, and doesn’t have much power below 2500RPM – contrary to the peak torque figures – and that it’s powerband is only present between 2500-5000RPM. Brakes aren’t great, no longer very bolted down, or as fun.

    • It went from a little bit of understeer to a snap oversteer and then back again.” – Randy Pobst

      Sounds exactly like a few R5X models. Then again I wouldn’t expect Randy to have a nuanced understanding of how each model and each configuration handled within the R5X generation.