Mini Plans To Shake Up Product Line | Edmunds

Mini Plans To Shake Up Product Line

DETROIT Mini is in the process of shaking up its product line by reducing the number of vehicles and working to differentiate those vehicles by size and design, Edmunds has learned.

Mini will focus on five core models in the future, including the three-door Mini Hardtop and five-door Mini Hardtop. The Mini Clubman and Countryman will also remain in the lineup. The fifth model has not been determined, although the two-passenger Mini Superleggera Vision roadster concept is being considered for production.

There are currently seven Mini models available at Mini dealerships.

Since 2002 "we added a lot of models, which are pretty much talking to the same customer group," said Jochen Goller, a former Mini executive, in a recent interview. "Mini management reviewed the lineup to determine what are the customer requirements and what do you need to fulfill them.

"We decided to focus on five core models. In the future, we want five strongly differentiated models that address a certain customer group and certain needs, rather than having seven, eight, nine models."

The redesigned product line, including the addition of a fifth model, will be in place by the end of 2017.

Goller would not say which models will be dropped from the Mini line. However, he did acknowledge that the Mini Paceman, Coupe and Roadster account for between 3 and 4 percent of Mini's global sales.

The coupe was the least popular model in the U.S. in 2014, accounting for just 956 sales. That was followed by the Roadster at 1,437 units and the Paceman at 2,082 units, according to Mini.

At the time of the interview, Goller was senior vice president of global Mini sales and marketing. He recently was given responsibility for sales and marketing at the BMW Brilliance joint venture in China.

As part of the new strategy to further differentiate Mini models, the redesigned Clubman will be larger than the current model and there will be a deliberate attempt to further separate styling from the brand's three-door Hardtop and five-door Hardtop.

The current Mini lineup takes on many competitors, including the Chevrolet Sonic, Fiat 500L, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and Kia Soul.

Edmunds says: Now may be the perfect time to go shopping and lock in a deal on your favorite Mini before these lineup changes are put into place.

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