To boost Mini’s prospects of long-term profitability parent BMW Group has decided the British brand needs to shrink its lineup to five models from eight.
Mini is expected to discontinue three slow-selling vehicles -- the Coupe, Roadster and Paceman – so it can concentrate on the five model lines that accounted for about 95 percent of the 325,000 vehicles it built last year, according to data from IHS Automotive.
BMW Group does not report individual financial results for the BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, which has left analysts wondering whether Mini has ever made any money.
“BMW has struggled to make Mini into a profit center from the beginning,” said Max Warburton, an auto analyst at Bernstein Research. He said that Mini’s cars are built on a low-volume platform and that the automaker has undergone “all sorts of complex model line proliferation -- it’s hardly a recipe for making money, at least compared to some of their BMW-branded products.”
Mini’s industrial matrix is complex. It builds eight models underpinned by three different platforms in three different plants and has had an average annual volume of about 313,000 units in the last three years.
Warburton expects Mini to become more financially viable once it starts offering a smaller, more consistent range underpinned by a single architecture, which will be shared by BMW brand models such as the 2-series Active Tourer and the next-generation 1 series.