MINI USA Sales Continue Their Downward Trend in October

MINI USA sales continued their downward trend in October with sales decreasing 7% from the same month a year ago. In total MINI USA reported 3,669 vehicles sold last month. Year-to-date, MINI USA reported a total of 38,456 vehicles sold, a decrease of 10.3 percent from 42,865 vehicles sold in the first ten months of 2016.

The bright spot? The F57 MINI Convertible is selling like hot cakes. Percentage wise it’s sursprisingly high considering it’s been on the market for well over a year.

The Clubman (perhaps our favorite model currently offered by MINI) is unsurprisingly being destroyed by the Countryman which offers that small cross-over package that so hot right now in the US.

  • Ryan Cooley

    Hopefully it stays this way. I bet you can get screaming deals on the clubman now. And how is the hardtop 4 door outelling it?

    • It really shouldn’t on paper. If there any deal cost difference is negligible. My guess is that dealers are simply not stocking them very often in the US now that the Countryman is out.

    • darex

      My MA said the same thing, as I was joking that the 4-door must be a hard-sell nowadays, versus the Clubman. She said, “At first, but the 4-door is the better seller now.” ?

    • Pam C

      Easy, I have a 4 door S and it is an awesome car. It has more room than a 2 door, but it not as big as a clubman (as I had one as a loaner one day). It is just a right size car with plenty of mini appeal. For those that are like me, I don’t like the new clubman, never did, as to me it was just like any other car on the road because of it’s size, if I wanted a larger car then I would have just bought one the BMW models but I didn’t I wanted a mini (again this is just my opinion) and the same thing with the new countryman.

      • Ryan Cooley

        Very true. The 5 door is almost near the size of the old countryman. I am highly considering one during the refresh.

        • Nick Dawson

          We have yet to make a firm decision about which MINI to buy to replace our long term R60 Countryman. What we have decided, however, is to wait until the mid-term refresh early next year. As of now, our next new MINI will either be a Convertible – seriously! – or a 5-door in BRG with White roof.

          The reason behind these two options is that on the one hand, the Convertible is the nearest MINI there is to a ‘genuinely’ fun car, and on the other hand, the 5-door is more practical but still drives like a MINI. On balance, because we have other cars in our stable, we shall most probably opt for the …….. Convertible!

      • CA-MINI

        I agree also. If and when my R60 passes on (so far, so good, and hoping for a long run beyond it’s current 5 years) I think I would get the 5door. It’s definitely the size. I have had a clubman as a loaner and just last week got my first drive in the new countryman as a loaner. Gabe is absolutely right that ride and quality of materials is noticeably improved, and the cars are solid and drive well. However you can not get past the increased size while on the road. I also agree with Gabe that if you have to go big MINI, the Clubman is the better choice over the Countryman. While the Countryman drove well, was refined, and all good things in general terms, the weight of the car is clearly felt. That extra 500+ pounds R60 to F60 is there and you notice it. I Know I am in the minority here, but I want a MINI, with a little ptracticality, and that would be the 5 door for me in the current F lineup

        • Nick Dawson

          Net Curb Weights F-Series MINIs*

          F56 Hardtop 2-dr 2,625lbs F55 Hardtop 4-dr 2,750lbs F57 Convertible– 2,855lbs F54 Clubman—- 3,105lbs F60 Countryman- 3,300lbs

          R60 Countryman- 2,954lbs

          *US Cooper base models with manual gearbox.

        • CA-MINI

          For clarity the F60 Cooper S All4 weighs 3629 pounds—-That’s the one I drove as a loaner

        • Nick Dawson

          Thanks for that – yes the F60 S All4 certainly is heavy.

          I selected the base Cooper model with manual gearbox for all versions, so that all could be compared like for like 🙂

        • Jan Wojcik

          Whoa … A Golf AllTrack weighs 3422 pounds and has a more cargo space than an X3.

        • It’s the old apples the oranges of a front whew drive architecture vs a rear wheel drive architecture.

  • Nick Dawson

    TOTAL MINI USA ANNUAL SALES

    2013: 66,502 (Record Year) 2014: 56,112 2015: 58,514 2016: 52,030

    2016: 42,865 (10 months YTD) 2017: 38,456 (10 months YTD)

    MINI USA SALES – % SHARE YTD

    1. Countryman – 11,784 = 30.64%
    2. Hardtop 2dr – 08,730 = 22.70%
    3. Clubman —- 06,834 = 17.77%
    4. Hardtop 4dr – 06,178 = 16.07%
    5. Convertible — 04,921 = 12.80%
    6. Paceman —- 00,009 = 00.02%
    • ConcernedCitizen

      MINI previously was selling nearly 6000 hardtops a MONTH before they went all nuts with the pricing and rolled out the dreadful redesigned look. I just hope they will infuse some R5x DNA into the next model. Styling, performance, pricing were all much better before they followed BMW’s lead to boring cars.

      • Nick Dawson

        Don’t forget that in the rest of the world, MINI is a huge success story and sales are going from strength to strength. MINI’s policy of underpinning MINIs with a BMW platform and driveline has paid dividends. In Asia in particular, the ‘MINI BMW’ image has inspired greater buyer confidence. Above all, whereas the R-series MINIs made little money for BMW, the F-series MINI is now a nice little earner. Don’t hold your breath for major changes any time soon – BMW is not going to ‘kill the goose that lays the golden egg’.

  • Nick Dawson

    When I attended my local MINI dealer for the launch of the R60 Countryman in October 2010, the evening was a most enjoyable event. The excitement in the air was palpable, and people didn’t want to leave. It was obvious that R60 was going to be a huge success – and so it was!

    Fast forward to October 2015, and the launch of the F54 Clubman at a far more lavish event. The moment I entered the venue, there was a feeling of disappointment in the air. The cars were impressive, but no one seemed excited. At the end of the evening I left feeling somewhat underwhelmed.

    The R55 Clubman – I’ve owned two – was quirky and cute, but not very practical. The F54 Clubman is neither quirky or cute, but is more practical with a higher quality feel. Despite that, it doesn’t seem to be turning buyers on, I suspect because it feels just too mainstream to drive. It also has – from some angles – the unfortunate look of a railroad car.

    • Opposite was the case in my experience.

      • Nick Dawson

        Interesting – nonetheless F54 sales are falling away. Here in the UK, the F60 Countryman, which only went on sale in February, is a far more common sight on the roads than the F54 Clubman. Don’t misunderstand me, the Clubman is a good car, but ……

        • Ryan Cooley

          It’s a good car but….. you can get a almost loaded a4 Quattro for the same price. A q5 for less then a countryman etc. if Mini wasn’t so connected to bmw and could up HP figures it would appeal to a lot more buyers I feel.

        • Of course. It’s what we’ve been taking about here and on WRR since the day the F54 Clubman came out. Everyone wants that size in a small crossover package rather than a wagon or sedan. I’m shocked the Clubman sells as well as it does in the US. It’s the better car dynamically (and stylistically to my eyes) but that doesn’t matter in this market (and hasn’t for many many years).

        • Ryan Cooley

          Me and my odd ball coworker love the clubman but we love wagons! Everyone else loves these mommy missle suvs and there’s no way around it. You can’t blame Mini. It’s what sells and gives them more money to produce better cars in the future.

        • Ryan Cooley

          Mini needs to market the clubman more like the a4 allroad. It’s ground clearance is good as well as awd. It’s essentially a crossover in it’s ground clearance specs.

        • Greg

          I agree, like the clubman concept

  • With 2 months to go, MINI USA is on track to sell just over 50,000 cars this year. The downward trend since 2013, MINI USA’s best sales year ever (66,502), tells us that sales have dropped 24% in four years. No matter how you try to spin this, it is not good. MINIs continue to sell well in the rest of the world. This is just my opinion and sales numbers seem to support it, but the re-imaging of the brand in 2014 towards “premium” and “sophisticated” was a failure in the USA. This was done to attract a new type of customer (urban creatives) and it has failed to do that while losing many owners to other brands. No need to go into the “whys” of this but MINI in the US has to get back to it’s roots as a fun car. Since 1959, the brand has been about fun and personal style. Let’s face it, we have reached a point where pretty much any brand car you buy is a pretty good car so MINI has to, once again, set itself apart not because it’s just a good car but because it’s a “great driving experience.” MINI USA’s latest marketing push is the “Epic Experience Pass”. The gist is, buy a new Countryman, get $1,500 off and a $250 “experience” at your choice of crafty farm-to-table blah blah blah. Here’s the direct problem with this entire philosophy. They are trying to reach a generation who is more about “experience” than “ownership”. The problem here is that MINI is saying, hey – we get you so we’re giving you an experience. The car doesn’t really matter, you might as well drive anything to get you there but, hey! Look! Farm to table food and craft cocktails! Don’t get me wrong, I love the craft movement as much as the next guy, but in this case, MINI should be telling people that DRIVING THE CAR IS THE EXPERIENCE! A MINI is not an appliance, it’s part of the family. Every day you get in, it puts a smile on your face and you can’t wait to drive to the store. To heck with Uber – I own a MINI! It’s too much fun NOT to drive. Roots people! Back to the roots!

    • darex

      I think that in the general public’s mind, MINI=horrific reliabilty. This perception needs to be attacked first and foremost. Images of Premiumness don’t matter unless people are willing to trust a brand. We all know that the reliabilty of the F-series MINIs is very good, and the best MINI’s ever had, but we aren’t the ones MINI needs to convince. People will pay for quality, but only if it’s also reliable.

    • Gas prices.

    • Nick Dawson

      Todd – it’s more likely to be 46k this year.

      TOTAL MINI USA ANNUAL SALES

      2013: 66,502 (Record Year) 2014: 56,112 2015: 58,514 2016: 52,030

      2016: 42,865 (10 months YTD) 2017: 38,456 (10 months YTD)

      • I blame my head cold for the math mix up. So it’s even worse. Basically a whopping 30% drop in total sales since 2013. Blaming the cheap cost of gas is an excuse. By saying that, Gabe is saying that people only bought MINIs because they were efficient and gas was expensive. I’m finally calling BS. It’s a crutch. People don’t care about the price of gas in the USA. That should level the playing field for cars. It hasn’t because salespeople love to convince buyers since every other car on the road is a Ford F-150, they need to sit tall and be seen too. Once again – BS! It’s time to bring back the SUV backlash campaign. Problem is, MINI sells an SUV (small as it may be). My point is, marketing and education can counter the brainwashing of the American car buying herd that they need the largest, most luxurious pick-up truck or suburban assault vehicle they can afford. It’s going to take a lot of work to get back there but it can be done. It has to be done.

        • And, yes, building back a reputation for reliability and quality is important but that takes time. A lot of damage was done 2007-2010.

        • Let’s be honest – it started before that.

        • No not saying that. But the small car sales decrease in the US mirrors the decrease in fuel prices. This is a historical correlation.

  • darex

    When the F54 Clubman came out, they made no small point of declaring it MINI’s flagship car. Since the F60, we see that clearly that crown has gone to the F60. [Scratching my head at MINI.]