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Mini anticipates strong finish to 2020

Electrifying sales: The Mini Electric will help spur the brand’s sales in the second half of the year.

Relatively strong first half of 2020 to continue for Mini with new models on the way

8 Jul 2020

UPDATED: 14/07/2020


MINI Australia is anticipating a strong second half of trading this year and an upward sales trajectory in 2021 and beyond after faring relatively well in the first half as the new-vehicle market was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. 


While the majority of car-makers have taken a significant hit to their sales volume this year, and the overall market has plummeted 20.2 per cent to the end of June, the BMW-owned British premium brand has fallen by less than half the industry average, down 9.4 per cent.


Helping Mini avoid a significant plunge were the Countryman SUV – up 4.5 per cent to 507 units – and the Clubman hatch, sales of which climbed 26.8 per cent to 189 units.


Meanwhile, the other two models in Mini Australia’s portfolio, the Hatch and Cabrio, have seen sales dip by a respective 22.1 per cent (to 736 units) and 10.0 per cent (to 117 units).


The shadow of COVID-19 still looms large over the economy and the automotive industry, despite the first signs of a recovery for the auto sector last month as the monthly new-vehicle sales decline eased to only 6.4 per cent.


However, in an interview with GoAuto last week, Mini Australia general manager Brett Waudby said the brand was hoping to finish off the year with a strong performance in the second half, on the back of its all-new Mini Electric and a number of special-edition models set to arrive before year’s end.


“For us, we have a positive outlook, honestly,” he said.


“We actually start getting (Mini Electrics) out on the road in August, our (JCW) GP is going out towards the end of this month and (there are) some allocations towards the end of the year, and we’ll be launching more editions into the market for the rest of this year.


“We’ve got four editions coming along, a couple of JCW editions coming, so we’ve got a lot happening before the end of this year and nothing’s going to stop us moving forward, to be honest.”


The Mini Electric is sold out for the rest of the year with the first batch of 100 units already spoken for, meaning prospective customers will have to wait until 2021 to secure their own version of the brand’s first zero-emissions model.


Mini Australia has also been happy with the local interest in the hot new $63,900 JCW GP, which is powered by a 225kW/450Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine – as seen in the BMW M135i – but limited to 65 units Down Under.


Furthermore, the updated Countryman small SUV is set to lob before year’s end, bringing revised exterior and interior styling, extra standard equipment, and improved Euro 6d-compliant engines.


When asked what has spurred Mini’s relatively strong performance in 2020, Mr Waudby said it could be attributed to a mix of forward orders arriving, the release of special editions in the first half and the adaptability of Mini’s dealer network during the pandemic.


“We already launched two editions at the start of this year, we had our Stafford Edition on our Countryman and we also had another (Sterling) Edition at the start of the year,” he said.


“We’ve seen a lot of forward orders arriving for us, and I just think as a brand we’ve been able to navigate this with the support of our dealer network.


“They have been huge in this in what we have been doing, focusing on online, we’ve been offering our customers obviously a booking process online, we offered the same for the BEV online, so I definitely think it’s helped us navigate a lot of what has happened during this time.”


Mr Waudby also said that Mini is aiming to bounce back in 2021 as the effects of COVID-19 ease, saying that the resilience of the Australian market left him confident of a return to form.


“We’re looking for a quick bounce-back from what has happened right now, and one thing I can say about the Australian market and Australian people is that they’re a resilient bunch,” he said.


“Having come over from Munich a couple of years ago, the Australian people here are amazing, they’re always up for a challenge and I think we’re going to get past this COVID quickly.


“The government is doing the right thing, and 2021 is definitely going to be a rise for us.”

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