At MotoringFile we receive quite a few MINI dealer specific news releases that we don’t share with our readers. Whether it be relatively boring material or even sensitive company information, we tend to pass on posting a lot of what we get in our inbox. However we received one recent sales related dealer newsletter that offers some interesting insight into MINI sales, the 2008 Convertible and what’s ahead for the Clubman. Naturally we just had to pass it along…
>As we wrap up the summer vacation period, and start to enjoy the cooler days that come with September, we would be remiss if we did not take a moment to celebrate our continued success.
>With the strong finish we experienced for August, we ended the month with 4,077 sales, the 4th consecutive month that MINI dealers in the US sold over 4,000 cars. Let’s take a moment to reflect upon that. Since MINI launched in the US, there have been seven months in which MINI dealers delivered over 4,000 cars in one month. The first three were a while ago Ã¢â‚¬â€œ December, 2003, March, 2005, and April, 2005, where 4,310 retails remains the one month record for MINI. However we had never before sold over 4,000 MINIs in three consecutive months much less four. In August, MINI sales were up 25% vs. the previous August, in an industry where overall sales were actually down 1%. A pretty impressive performance! And, over the past 4 months, MINI sales are up over 17% vs. the same period in 2006.
>So what’s ahead of us for the remainder of the year? Availability will drop over the next 90 days as we transition from 2007 to 2008 Model Year. 2008 Convertibles are already rolling out the back door of the factory, and will begin to arrive at your dealership this month. The 2008 Hardtop and Clubman will begin (US) production in December. Having had an opportunity to drive the Clubman in both race track and real world environments, I am confident we have another winner on our hands. The Clubman will appeal to the loyal MINI owner and also make MINI ownership a viable consideration for those who up until now might have considered a MINI, but needed a slightly larger vehicle and made another choice.
>We have aggressively moved to cut 2007 hardtop production in the Sep-Nov. period. We have also been proactive in requesting December production Ã¢â‚¬â€œ we will build over 4,500 2008 Model Year cars in December for the US, including over 600 Clubman. As usual, all of the details of our production plan are available on WebTrain.
>And we’ve learned from R56. We will build fewer R55 HEAs (pre-specced cars) at launch, and focus on giving you the opportunity to specify the right cars for your dealership. And we’ve got a couple of surprises up our sleeve to further support the launch, along with some Marketing that we know will create interest in Clubman.
MF Analysis: It would appear it’s a story of “so far so good” for the launch of the 2007 MINI Coupe in the US. The only potential issue is number of cars on the lot, partly due to those poorly specced launch cars from last winter. However as supply dwindles in the coming months, dealers will at least have the opportunity to move this excess inventory. The change in pre-specced cars for the launch of the Clubman (which we reported on a few months ago) will be welcome news to dealers who’ve had a hard time selling these pre-specced stripped down models to customers eager for options. Allowing the dealers to spec their own cars based on what sells in their market will surely help with the Clubman. Otherwise it would appear 2007 has been a stellar year for MINI USA and dealers in terms of sales.