Mini is dropping three models as competition becomes stiffer image

Mini, the British urban brand that started out as a truly minimalist approach to road transportation, is entering a new development phase, with bigger models in its lineup.

Parented by Germany’s efficiency prone BMW, Mini has decided its urban car appeal has been ill served by the coupe, roadster and Paceman crossover versions, swinging away from a strategy to diversify its line-up that failed to make any sales dents. Just like it has been rumored on various occasions, the brand will focus on five core models, such as the trademark hatchback and the Countryman crossover. The brand will focus on roomier models, after introducing the hatchback in a five door variant and delivering recently the new Clubman wagon that is 12.6 inches longer than its predecessor. The ultimate goal is to lift the brand’s appeal upscale and set them apart from equally trendy competitors such as the Fiat 500, Nissan Juke and Opel Adam.

“This will be the start of a new era for Mini,” commented Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW Manager of the Mini unit. They’re “kicking off a new chapter where we’re going to expand into the premium compact class,” with Schwarzenbauer formally introducing the new product strategy that had been first unveiled last fall. Mini delivered 302,200 autos last year, around the same level as seen in the previous two years, with the trademark hatchback and the Countryman crossover making up for 80 percent of the sales. Sales are expected to surge to a new record for the year, as the brand has introduced the new five-door variant of the hatchback and the new generation Clubman.

Via Automotive News Europe