Mini is thinking of increasing the size of the Clubman for its next-generation, converting it to an SUV. There has been a global shift towards the SUVs as a result of which there is a decline in the sales of hatchback and sedan cars, which necessitates the retrenchment of dealers.
In the United States, Mini’s sales are reducing because it only has a single SUV, the Countryman. The Countryman has been perceived by the Americans to be small and does not justify the buying price.
The Clubman has been facing the criticism as it appears to be quite similar to the five-door Mini Cooper model in its layout, which is evidently priced lesser than the Clubman.
“I want each model of the company to be the smallest in their respective segment, or visually looks the smallest. But as it turns out, small may not be in demand and not good for the sales,” hence there is a possibility for a larger Clubman, he added.
The chief designer, Oliver Heilmer has said that the next-gen Clubman would be seen in an SUV format. The car is currently 4.25 m long and 1.80 m wide. The six-door estate is only a little shorter by 46 mm and narrower by 22 mm as compared to its Countryman sibling. Both of these have the same market price.
At the current stage, it is not clear if the Clubman will be made bigger or the latter will be made larger than before, with the aim to provide two SUVs of different sizes.
The current-gen Mini Clubman had been launched in the Indian market in the year 2016. The solitary Cooper S variant was launched in India and it has been powered by the 192hp, 2.0-litre turbo-petrol motor mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The car is priced at Rs 41.20 lakh. The car has been reviewed as a practical, fun-to-drive car and has a retro kind of charm.
It has been talked about that efforts are being made by Mini with an aim to improve the efficiency of space in the next three-door hatchback car of Mini. Heilmer has said in a statement that, “For the future architecture, we’re currently doing weekly discussions so as to improve the space in the interiors and reduce the footprint of the car. But this has not been resolved as yet but maybe resolve next year.” He also stated that the “cost of development is also another issue”.
Mini has never succeeded as a huge seller. The carmaker’s had the highest number of sales in the year 2013 at 66,502 units. The sales fell by approximately 23,000 units in the year 2018. This year looks bad for the sales of the brand, as Mini has been selling approx 34,000 models through the month of November 2019. There has been a need for a competitive crossover or an SUV, without which the sales are falling. Hence a Clubman SUV is going to have more appeal to both Mini and their customers.
image source-Motor1.com , BMW Blog