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Mini to shrink its range

Way out: The Mini Coupe is on death row at Mini where the focus is on mass-selling models in the third generation.

Coupe and Roadster to be discontinued in Mini range under rationalisation plan

25 Nov 2014

MINI is set to scale back its sprawling range next year when the slow-selling two-door Mini Coupe and Roadster will be dropped from production.

The move means the BMW-owned British manufacturer will trim its range from eight body variants to six in an effort to focus on higher-selling variants.

American reports from last week’s Los Angeles motor show say the move was confirmed by Mini USA marketing communications manager Patrick McKenna, who said the Coupe and Roadster had run their course.

The models were considered too close to others in the range, especially the Cabrio and three-door Hatch, and thus not worth the investment in replacements.

The two-door models were based on the previous second-generation Mini, and will not be renewed on the new F56 platform that made its debut under the mainstream three-door Mini Cooper hatch at the LA show a year ago.

A move to reduce the range comes as no surprise, as BMW is on the record as acknowledging criticism of its niche model policy that has been described as confused.

BMW Group Australia general manager of corporate communications Lenore Fletcher told GoAuto she could not confirm the reports that the two models were to be dropped.

She said she had heard a lot of rumour and discussion about it, but at this stage the cars remained in production.

Mini has just added the all-new Mini 5 Door to the range in Australia, joining the latest Mini Cooper three-door hatch that made its entrance into the Australian market in April.

The range is being gradually revamped on the new architecture that has been stretched in most dimensions for more practical proportions.

Models still on the old platform are the Clubman, Paceman, Cabrio, Coupe and Roadster, with all but the Coupe and Roadster expected to be replaced at some point in the current third-generation lifecycle.

In Australia, Mini has sold just 93 Coupes and Roadsters combined this year to the end of October, down 18.4 per cent on last year.

The top-selling Mini Hatch and its Countryman wagon variant have found 1227 buyers this year, down 13.9 per cent.

The arrival in showrooms this month of the Mini 5 Door should bolster Mini sales, which year to date are down 10.2 per cent.

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