MINI USA’s sales are off pace by over 25% for the year and 18% for the month of June. However if you look at the figures the problem isn’t as simple as it might seem.
Looking at June sales figures for the F56 are off only by 50 vehicles. Considering the incentives MINI was running this time last year and that the F56 isn’t quite as fully stocked as it normally would be, that’s a pretty good figure.
However the main culprit for the year over year plunge is the R56/F56 model change over – MINI’s bread and butter product. And it was a changeover filled with unfortunate timing and production problems that led to dealers having little or no new inventory of the brand’s best selling product.
For June however it’s a different story that looks more like death by a thousand cuts. The Paceman is off by 41% (with only 182 vehicles sold) and the Coupe and Roadster are down by 71% and 66% respectively. For Roadster, a car we’ve called one of the best MINI’s ever made, it’s particularly surprising. Then there’s the aging R57 Convertible which is down almost 40% for the month – a month it should be selling like gangbusters.
What does all of it mean? For one there are many good small cars out there with excellent fuel efficiency and plenty of cash on the hood. Then there are a plethora of aging models in the line-up that, while still compelling, don’t have the MPG figures many rivals do.
So what’s the plan to turn it around? A complete model change over will be taking place with the five door, Clubman, JCW and convertible (in that order) over the next two years. Then there’s the next generation Countryman coming in 2017. Finally MINI will be introducing plugin hybrid and diesel models on both the Clubman and Countryman to help drive interest in showrooms. Will it work? Only time will tell.