Mini and Rolls-Royce could join the SUV mania image

Both British carmakers are wholly owned by German automaker BMW, who aims to keep its reign on the premium manufacturers segment, which also means increased prowess from its two subsidiaries. One solution? Tap into the highly lucrative SUV segment.

Actually, the two British brands only follow suit on a long list of manufacturers that have sought to boost sales by moving into compact crossovers: cars that offer a higher driving position but take up the same space as a small car.

“Something in this direction makes sense for Mini?.?.?.?you have to look at different options,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW Group board member for Mini and Rolls-Royce. Also, “For what could be the next step for Rolls-Royce we are obviously looking at many things including an SUV,” Schwarzenbauer added.

He also cited the popularity of the segment and studies showing SUV drivers to be more loyal to brands than drivers of other types of cars. SUVs have become one of the car industry’s most profitable segments for both premium marques and volume manufacturers. Just look at Porsche with its Cayenne model, and its soon to be released Macan.

At the other end of the market, strong sales of crossovers such as General Motors’ Mokka and Peugeot’s 2008 models have given their manufacturers much-needed relief from the worst European car market for two decades.

We should also keep in mind that BMW has not made a final decision on whether either brand will bring an SUV to market, according to Mr. Schwarzenbauer, a former Porsche and Audi executive who also oversees BMW’s motorcycle business.

Via Financial Times