MINI USA Sales Down 9.5% for 2017

MINI USA sales finished down 9.5% for 2017 after a relatively flat December down 1.0%. The brand reported 4,611 vehicles sold, a decrease of 1.0 percent from the 4,658 sold in the same month a year ago.

MINI sales, down about 30% from 2014 seem to be stabilizing slightly as the automotive industry itself has seen some correction in 2017. What’s ahead for the brand? The Countryman will likely continue to be a volume seller with the hatch continuing to be the heart and soul of the brand. The 2018 LCI could help sales of the F55, F56 and F57 but we expect higher gas prices (a real possibility) could help more.

Some notes on sales. The Clubman and the Countryman have swapped positions as sales leaders – no surprise there as the Countryman is both this years new four door model and a crossover – the hottest segment in the US. The four door was relatively flat while the classic two door hatch was up 36%.

  • Nick Dawson

    MINI USA 2017 Annual Sales are the lowest since 2010.

    2010: 45,644 

    2011:   57,511 

    2012:  66,123 

    2013:  66,502 

    2014:  56,112 

    2015:  58,514 

    2016:  52,030 

    2017:  47,105

  • Nick Dawson

    “How do you solve a problem like the Clubman”?

    That’s exactly what BMW’s top brass are currently agonising over. With 2017 US sales of the Clubman down 36.6% compared to its 2016 first full year of sales in the US, BMW knows that it has a problem child on its hands, and things aren’t much better worldwide. According to sources, BMW is looking at ways to slash production costs and increase sales without dissipating the aura of sportiness surrounding the line-up.

    • How would BMW not have Know Clubman Sales would be eaten alive by the Countryman in the US. BMW has dealt with the wagon vs the crossover sales for decades now. Seems bizarre to me that the wouldn’t have forecasted these figures. Frankly the only surprise that I’m aware they had was the amount the Clubman sold in its first year.

      The irony of course is that it’s a better MINI than the Countryman will ever be.

      • Nick Dawson

        We could debate which model is the better MINI until the cows come home, but the bottom line has to be that car makers are in the business of making cars that customers want to buy.

        In its first year the F54 Clubman was something of a novelty, but the novelty has now worn-off. The Countryman, on the other hand, is a tough little cookie that has, since 2011, stood the test of time.

        • There’s no debate that MINI should be making more crossovers from a business case perspective. That’s not what I’m saying at all. If MINI wants to chase profits harder they’d have a Countryman XL (which would then immediately kill Countryman sales in the US.

          Of course none of them would be better MINIs than the Clubman 🙂

    • WANDERLUST srt

      Slashing cost on anything will always help. Cost is always a factor. Having said that it would be nice if they fixed the proportions and made mini small again. Its hard to compete when the chief attribute the brand is named after is not what it once was. They also are moving slowly on US updates to performance which takes out another subset of enthusiasts. In summery: not great value, not great performance, bigger then it used to be is not a recipe for success in a niche brand. This only applies to the cars.

  • Jon A

    IMO,MINI’s problem is they are a niche of a niche. They are a small, hatchback/wagon based brand which has been historically unappealing to the US mass market. On top of that they market themselves as premium which makes them even more niche because Americans don’t associate premium with small. Couple that to low fuel prices and historically low quality and you have a perfect storm.

    • The irony being their current lineup is dramatically better engineered and built than before.

      • Jon A

        Doesn’t matter when the last 2 generations have been pretty poor. Perception is a helluva thing to overcome. BMW will have to work extra hard to overcome and change the perception.

        • That’s exactly the plan. Unintended downsides de – dealer service departments are way downs in revenue.

  • Nick Dawson

    Long before the F54 Clubman had been given the green light, I well remember reading an insider’s report on a meeting of the BMW board, at which it was said that the marketing men did not want the second generation Clubman to have rear barn doors, but that the ‘old guard’ insisted that barn doors were an iconic feature of the Clubman.

    With hindsight, I think the marketing men were right. I owned two R55 Clubmans in succession, and thoroughly enjoyed them both, but they were not without their faults. The barn doors were a cute and attractive feature, but in practice could be a bit of a pain. They were also very expensive to develop and add considerably to the manufacturing cost.