Mini’s top-five strategy
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Mid last year, Mini announced that beginning with its third generation line up, the brand would rationalise its range to five core models. A new report indicates the fifth model will be a sedan.
The British marque didn’t specify what those models would be, but CarAdvice assumed the five models would be: a three-door hatch, a five-door hatch, a hatch-based convertible, the Clubman wagon, and the Countryman SUV.
Unnamed sources within Mini have told Autocar, though, that the three- and five-door hatchbacks should be thought of as one in its five-pillar strategy.
These informants say the fifth model will be a sedan. Although primarily targeted at the Chinese and North American markets, which prefer booted cars over their hatchback cousins, the new sedan will be sold across the globe.
At the recent New York auto show, Ralph Mahler, vice president of product management at Mini, told the magazine that “the sedan concept is in our history”. Although he didn’t confirm plans for the sedan, Mahler stated that the brand needed to study the idea “in a factual way”.
In the early 1960s, during the British Motor Corporation era, the original Mini spawned a two-door booted derivative, which was sold as the Wolseley Hornet and the Riley Elf. Mahler did concede, though, that “most customers would hardly know that”.
It’s not clear what branding a potential Mini sedan would adopt. After divesting the car making operations of Rover and MG to the Phoenix Group in 2000, BMW retained the rights to the Riley marque. As with the rest of Mini’s third-generation model line up, if a sedan does come about, it will be based on the front- and all-wheel UKL platform, which is shared with a selection of BMW models, including the 2 Series Active Tourer, X1 and the next-generation 1 Series hatchback.