Jan 6th, 2015
I guess 2015 couldn’t start with just good news. Sunday the BBC reported that a car transporter ship was grounded in the Solent deliberately after it began to list. According to the news channel:
The Hoegh Osaka was run aground off the Isle of Wight on Saturday evening after developing problems once it had left Southampton, Ingar Skiaker, chief executive of Hoegh Autoliners said. The ship is now listing at more than 50 degrees and a salvage operation is expected to take several days. However, no oil is thought to have leaked from the ship.
Those of you familiar with the BMW/MINI delivery process know that Hoegh Autoliners is one of the shipping companies used to transport cars across the Pond. And from what we gather, it appears that 65 MINIs were on board at the time of the incident. While this is quite unfortunate, it is a relatively low number compare to the 1,200 vehicles Jaguar/Land Rover lost in the process. Although Oxford will probably shift production priorities to make up for the lost cars, US customers shouldn’t be directly affected by the incident as the ship’s original destination was Germany and the Middle-East. continued →
Jan 5th, 2015
To many of you this probably reads like MINI sales in the US are stable, but this is actually big news. While 6,615 vehicles sold in December 2014 only represents a 0.3% increase compare to the same month last year (i.e. 6,592), the brand sets a new record. It is not only MINI USA’s best December ever but also their best month since the British icon came back to US shores. Looking back at the end of the summer, this seemed like an impossible task to achieve, but we at MotoringFile predicted early on that our favorite brand was doing just fine. We actually reminded our readers of that most recently.
Unsurprisingly, the Hardtop (4,176 units) and the Countryman (1,941 units) are driving most of the volume while the Coupe and the Roadster are bidding their farewell. As for the Paceman, it continues to disappoint with 129 units, its fourth lowest month since it’s introduction in March 2013.
With the F55 four-door Hardtop picking up steam and the F54 Clubman about to join the ranks, we’re refining our initial forecast for 2015 with 12-month sales between 68,500 and 71,000 vehicles. What are your predictions for 2015? continued →
Dec 22nd, 2014
When I am not recording White Roof Radio or writing posts for MotoringFile, I work for a healthcare technology company doing product management, business development and commercial operations consulting. As such, some of my time is dedicated to helping our clients build and optimize their sales and marketing operations. To be frank, it is not always as challenging as I would like it to be, but for the past two months I have helped launch a major biotech blockbuster, and it was amazing. While it is not my first launch, it gave me a completely new appreciation for the difficulty of the undertaking given the financial and legal ramifications. Although the resources dedicated to launching a car versus a drug cannot be compared, I’m fairly certain the complexity of the task is similar across both industries.
Unless you live under a rock, you should know that MINI launched a new generation of cars with the release of the F56 Hardtop a year ago. There is a lot at stake for this new breed of MINIs with promises of unprecedented economies of scale, higher profit margins and increased sales volumes. However, the past 12 months have been tricky for the first FXX car, especially in the US. And while many so-called analysts along with some of our dedicated readers are quick to announce MINI’s impending doom, my view on the matter is quite different. Could MINI and MINI USA have done a better job at launching the F56? I believe so. Is our favorite brand on the brink of extinction? Not even remotely. But let’s step back and look at what happened since the end of 2013. continued →
Dec 10th, 2014
November saw the MINI brand reach a new high for the month. Global deliveries totalled 29,018, an increase of 16.7% compared to the same month last year (24,873). The all-new third-generation core MINI three-door model saw sales increase 26.3% compared to November last year (13,248 / prev. yr. 10,488) whilst the newly launched MINI five-door model achieved total sales of 4,033 in the month. continued →
Dec 2nd, 2014
MINI USA sales are gaining momentum with almost 3,000 F56 Cooper and Cooper S models sold over the course of November. Combined with the rest of the range MINI sold over 5,000 units for the month, an increase of 9.5% over the previous year. However there are a couple notable low numbers worth mentioning. Click through for all the details. continued →
Nov 12th, 2014
We’ve been reporting on it all year. But now it would seem the automotive press has picked up on the figures. Here’s Automotive News on the recent slump:
After a flat 2013, Mini’s U.S. sales are down 20 percent through October. The slump has left some pundits wondering whether Mini could suffer the problems of other once-trendy retro nameplates.
Mini management says sales are down mainly because of the model changeover for its core vehicle, the two-door Cooper hardtop. The redesigned hardtop, which is larger and shed some of its quirky features, arrived on dealership lots in April. Then dealers suffered a six-week delay of the 2015 Cooper, which arrived in mid-September.
Nov 11th, 2014
While MINI sales in the US are still rebounding from production and EPA delays, worldwide figures continue to rise. MINI achieved its best October sales ever. A total of 28,834 vehicles were delivered to customers worldwide, an increase of 13.4% compared to the same month last year (25,420).