14 March 2014

BMW's MINI Lunacy To Be Checked

The MINI Coupe. Interesting but too extreme to be a large seller

BMW chases niches in the car market like greyhounds pursue rabbits. Like that speedy canine, it just cannot help itself. Well, sanity prevails with regard to future MINI models. Perhaps it was a case of the accountants finally getting their way.

To understand the issue, notice the sales chart below (2013 figures not released yet):


2012 Sales

Hatch 131,600

Countryman 102,300

Convertible 24,500

Clubman 22,700
Coupe 11,300

Roadster 9,200

It's not rocket science to see that that the proliferation of models hasn't translated into sales of any note. It is the core models that dominate production. Therefore, the Coupe and Roadster will not be persevered with. Seeing that BMW profit fell 14% in the 4th quarter of 2013 - despite higher sales - indicates costs have to be managed better. Niche products that do not deliver have to be abandoned. (It is worth mentioning BMW's percentage profit still exceeds Mercedes-Benz).

I couldn't see the recent models that MINI released having much success. They were too extreme to have anything more than a limited following. It was taking money needed for more important R & D, areas that will provide better return on outlay. The lunacy has been checked.

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