Over the years we’ve reported that MINI USA has been trying desperately to figure out a way to bring the MINI diesel to the US – MINI’s largest market in the world. As we have mentioned the issues are varied. But just recently out sources have confirmed that the fight may be over for the R56 generation of MINIs. After some particularly busy months of pricing scenarios it would appear that MINI USA has given up hope to bring an oil burner to the US.
The reason is that the costs for converting the European Diesel engine to US specifications are just astronomical for a three- or four-year production run. Even if MINI USA charged 10%-15% more, they’d never make any money and at the end of the day based on our sources. On the other side of the equation, is MINI USA priced the car at 40%-50% more to pay for the re-engineering required, few would buy them at todayâ€™s moderately low fuel prices.
So put those R56 Cooper D dreams on the back-burner for another 4-5 years. It will likely take the next generation MINI to see them come to fruition. However (and this is a big one) plans are still in the air for the R60 based Cooper S D to make it across the pond. We’ll have more on this in the coming weeks.
For those who will find fault with MINI on this decision… we can understand your frustration. However remember that MINI and even BMW are relatively small independent companies compared to the other automakers out there. VW specifically has the ability to spend the money and then spread the costs around the company and different products when it comes to their diesels. Yet MINI (and even BMW) have to invest and be very very cautious with every penny they spend in order to remain profitable and ultimately independent. It’s a very tight rope to walk.