BMW is undertaking a root and branch re-think of Mini and will begin the process of shrinking the British brand’s current lineup.
The Paceman, Coupe and Roadster are slow sellers for Mini and are expected to be “culled” by parent company BMW. The objective is purely financial, Mini built 325,000 vehicles in 2014 and five models accounted for 95 percent of sales.
Financial analysts believe Mini has never made a profit, BMW never releases such details and therefore it is difficult to say how Mini performs. Naturally if BMW is coy about Mini’s performance then the speculation leads people to believe whether Mini has ever made a fair contribution to BMW’s product portfolio.
Mini builds eight models which use three different platforms which are built in three different production facilities. This expensive footprint is expected to be reduced to around five core products. By offering a smaller range of cars and sharing a single platform, speculated to be the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, Mini could become profitable say industry analysts.
The BMW board member in charge of Mini, Peter Schwarzenbauer, confirmed last year that Mini’s current range would be reduced and Mini would focus on three and five doors models in what Schwarzenbauer calls the “superhero” brands.
Mini’s production capability is already being restructured, the new Mini three and five door hatch are being built around BMW’s UKL platform. Mini’s Oxford plant has increased production from 700 to 1000 cars per day.
The new Clubman will also use the UKL platform while the Countryman, which is built in Austria, will make the switch in 2016 when the second generation is released.