MINI US May Sales Down 11.6%

It’s been another difficult month for MINI in the US. With sales off over 11% in May compared to last year, it wasn’t a good month at all! Especially when the overall US light vehicles sales were basically flat (down 0.5%). It’s no wonder that MINI is making moves: A new head of design; 2 MINI veterans promoted; 5th superhero to be an EV; rewarding dealerships for selling more used cars; and they lost their add agency! But it takes time to change course, and enough hasn’t passed to reverse the trends in MINI sales. We find it a bit puzzling that MINI is having another record year world wide, with month after month of bad news here in the US.

Matt’s MINI Index shows things could be worse: just look at Fiat and Smart! But we don’t think anyone and MINI wants to the marque to be in the same sentence with those two brands.

Within the MINI itself? The 2-door hardtop was basically flat, selling 9 more units. The Countryman shows some growth, up 5.7%, but Clubman sales were down almost 28%! This is especially surprising as X1 sales were up 12.6% and one can make a convincing case that the Clubman is a better X1 than the X1 is. Obviously, MINI has a lot of work to get done.

Official News BMW USA News Woodcliff Lake, NJ – June 1, 2017…

MINI Brand Sales

For May, MINI USA reported 4,060 automobiles sold, a decrease of 11.6 percent from the 4,595 sold in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date, MINI USA reported a total of 17,792 automobiles sold, a decrease of 12.1 percent from 20,230 automobiles sold in the first five months of 2016.
MINI Pre-Owned Vehicles
  • In May, MINI Certified Pre-Owned sold 1,005 vehicles, a decrease of 1.8 percent from May 2016.
  • Total MINI Pre-Owned sales were 2,676 vehicles in May 2017, an increase of 15.3 percent from May 2016.
  • Total MINI Pre-Owned sales year-to-date were 13,171 a 15.7 percent increase from the first five months of 2016.
  • Gary

    I know monthly sales compared to the previous year seem to be the industry standard for these statistics but this approach seems to lack insight into what’s actually occurring over the long term. As I recall, May ’16 was one of the historically bad months for MINI USA (-21%) except for the Clubman, which was off-the-charts high as a result of its availability and filling the vacuum that existed for that model. So in actuality we are down another 11% from that historical badness last year.

    What I’d love to see is a graph of monthly total U.S. sales for each model spanning the entire life cycle of each model’s existence since introduction. Start the abscissa in 2002 and include everything MINI has sold, starting with the R50.

  • Jim Ohio

    I know why sales are down in the states vs other places.. in the states the BMW mini was sold as cute, chic, trendy, etc.. that ship sailed in about 2007

    • ulrichd

      No, I believe it’s because gas is relatively cheap and everything that’s not a pick-up or SUV is down. I will agree that to the lifestyle buyer the initial MINI’s gotta have it moment has passed and the brand has gotten dinged somewhat in the areas of reliability and ownership cost.

      • Mr Remi

        This.

  • oldsbear

    Image sells.

    The old image for Subaru was reliable, sensible, adventuresome. The new image for Subaru is reliable, LOVE. Subaru sells.

    The old image for MINI was exciting, fun, quirky, different. The next image for MINI was premium small car. The new image for MINI is . . . MINI falls behind.

  • CA-MINI

    My question is where is the explosion of sales everybody predicted would occur with the release of the new Countryman?? (year on year sales are up only marginally and that does reflect R60 vs. F60) Is it that supply of the model hasn’t fully reached dealers and is therefore inhibiting sales, or is it that the public’s reaction to the new Countryman is lukewarm. As an R60 owner, I was very disappointed in the F60, and quite frankly with the exception of the F57 convertible (and to a lesser degree the Clubman) have been disappointed with every F series MINI released. I am not saying the cars are not good cars, but they don’t reflect the MINI DNA. The styling has distorted the proportions to where they are unappealing or in the case of the F60 downright generic. They have gotten large and heavy, in some cases I believe too large and heavy, and then add the price escalation……. it’s no wonder that the sales are slowly retreating in the US. Ideas of styling/sizing MINI into a mainstream product are misguided. MINI is an enthusiasts car brand, and as such will only have a limited appeal, but it will be an enthusiastic appeal. The original marketing slogan “Be Different” was spot on. Look at all the comments on Gabe’s post about a new version of the R53 Cooper S–that’s enthusiasm. That’s where MINI should be focusing their product design/marketing message etc.–especially in the US

    • ulrichd

      If I could buy a new R50/53 right now I would, even with old tech. However I do know that MINI made no money on the R-series and the 2nd gen car’s styling was heavily influenced by the new pedestrian safety standards. I do agree that the F-series hatch is a design disappointment mostly because of the prominent 1-series chassis dictated nose.

    • Ashley Wilson

      As an R60 owner, I’m not sure what your metric of MINI DNA is…

      • CA-MINI

        Compact, nimble, on the lighter side of weight, a spirited engine, tight chassis dynamics, a joy to drive–makes a simple drive a whole lot of fun, a styling connection to the original MINI, and a price that is still reachable for most. Granted the R60, isn’t as pure as the R53, or R56, but I had practical constraints at the time of purchase. I did a few mods to my R60 and it is a great ride, I enjoy every day.

  • glangford

    Mini just isn’t the fun value proposition it once was.

    • WANDERLUST srt

      Yep this. Its one thing if the MSRP of a mini cooper S were a true 24-25K but with any packages at all it goes for more like 27-28K and as high as 35K or more. Thats just a rip off at that price. A ford fiesta ST may be way crappier inside but its a true 21-22K and it keeps up with the mini at almost the same size. I would be willing to pay up to 4k more for mini but beyond that it makes no sense.

      • darex

        It has a trunk!!!