Not satisfied with the fact that sales of its Mini brand reached an all time high last year, executives at BMW are wrestling with the idea of trying to expand on its core models by adding a 5th car without damaging the brand’s image even higher.
While BMW Group’s board member Peter Schwarzenbauer, in charge of Mini, thinks that adding a compact sedan could volume, he acknowledges that it could be a risk, regardless of potential growth, and told Automotive News Europe Editor Luca Ciferri and Correspondent Christiaan Hetzner that the company is still weighing the option while at the Geneva Auto Show in March. For the most part, he is not in favor of the idea. He also stated that, while it would be negligent of him not to examine all angles from a business standpoint, Mini had basically “stopped trying to expand into an array of niches in search of new customers.”
Other ideas being floated include a micro mini based on the Rocketman concept introduced in 2011, as well as the Superleggera Vision roadster concept, which Schwartaenbauer sees as a “perfect fit,” although the market for roadsters is very limited. Other ideas include adding a hybrid plug-in. In the meantime, the company stands solidly behind its current models, including the Mini Cooper hardtop (including a new 5-door version),with the convertible, Countryman and Clubman.