The elelctric MINI Cooper SE can’t come soon enough for dealers. While dealers are excited about the new model, dealers have been hit hard by slowing sales and profitability issues.
According to a recent interview in Automotive News with MINIUSA head Michael Peyton, the brand is seeing optimistic signs with the new electric Cooper SE. The electric Mini will bring much needed energy back to the brand, said Jason Willis, chairman of the Mini National Dealer Council.
“Product gets people in,” said Willis, dealer principal of Willis Auto Campus in Des Moines, Iowa. “Our showrooms have been kind of the same thing for a couple years.”
Unsurprisingly MINI dealers in the US want more competitive lease pricing and entry-level products. “We are probably $50 to $100 more than what our customers think they are going to be when they come in,” Willis said. “Customers come in the door and are hit with a little bit of sticker shock.”
Peyton acknowledges this and went on to say MINIUSA is currently working on more value pricing. One way they’ve done that is the MINI Cooper Oxford Edition, which starts at $19,750 . It was initially offered only to college students and military personnel but is now available to all consumers for a limited time, a spokesman said.
Signs point to this being just the beginning of the Oxford Edition Line. “We told dealers we will be talking about a Countryman Oxford Edition probably in the next month or so,” Peyton said.
Of course none of this solves the immediate sales and profitability issue at some dealerships. For that MINIUSA has boosted factory incentives for dealers in areas such as facility standards, training and exclusivity.
The real solve is updated or new product. Unfortunately with MINI’s recent announcement that Brexit will delay the 4th generation MINI, US dealers will have to wait.
While Mini is making progress on addressing dealer concerns, Peyton conceded, “it’s still taking time to get us where we need to be.”
Peyton assured dealers the factory is working to help reduce some of these issues.