The production of Mini cars began in 1959. Since then, several companies have owned Mini till it became a part of BMW’s product portfolio. BMW relaunched Mini in a new avatar in 2001–02. The production of last classic Mini took place in 2000. Since its relaunch in 2001, Mini has sold more than 3 million units. Over these years, Mini has evolved a lot. Today, Mini is known as an iconic brand that defines pure urban luxurious mobility. The car is small in size but iconic in design. In 2017 and 2018, the Mini Cooper car brand achieved some major milestones. Sales of Mini cars was the highest in history in 2017 and then the second highest in 2018. As the demand for electric cars has grown, BMW has also released a fully electric version of Mini. However, the first plugin hybrid version was launched back in 2017 which followed with the announcement of a fully electric version.
Mini is among the most famous cars in the premium small car segment. It has become an urban mobility icon that promises a superior driving experience. BMW has established a large manufacturing and distribution network for the production of BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce cars. Customers can buy Mini in 109 countries throughout the world. With passing time, the needs, taste and expectations of car buyers have changed a lot. BMW group has focused on innovation so that Mini fits easily into the urban buyer’s lifestyle and provides a better than expected driving experience. Right since it was launched, Mini has remained a favourite of the high class car buyers. From royalty to film stars, musicians and celebrities from the fashion world, Mini has been successful at charming them all. In 2019, the Mini Cooper car brand turned 60.
Read more about Mini Cooper in this marketing mix.
Mini is a well recognised brand in the luxury small car segment. Apart from its compact design and attractive look, Mini cars are known for safety and high resale value also. Since its launch, the car has been most popular among film stars, musicians, fashion celebs and royalties. Mini cars offer a distinctly superior riding experience. Since BMW relaunched the brand in a new avatar in 2000, a lot has changed about the Mini cars. Production of the classic Mini stopped in 2000. Now, Mini Cooper is available in several models including convertible, plugin hybrid and fully electric models. Four main variants of Mini include Mini Hatch (3 and 5 door), Mini Convertible, Mini Clubman and Mini Countryman. 2017 and 2018 were the best years in the history of Mini. Mini achieved highest sales in 2017 and second-highest in 2018. In 2017, Mini achieved total worldwide deliveries of 371,881 units. In 2018, total worldwide deliveries were 361,531 units, a decline of 2.8%. However, from 2017 to 2018, while the total sales of Mini vehicles decline slightly, sales of Mini countryman grew by around 17.5%. In 2018, Mini delivered 99,750 of Mini countryman model and 182,189 units of Mini Hatch model. The company unveiled it first fully electric Mini in July 2019. The car is called Mini Cooper SE and has generated a lot of consumer interest. While overall sales of Mini vehicles has declined in 2019, sales and popularity of Mini Countryman Plug-In Hybrid has grown. Compared to the first half of fiscal 2018, sales of the Countryman Plugin Hybrid grew by around 55% during the same period in 2019.
Mini cars are designed for urban riders. These cars are built to provide a superior, more fun and safer driving experience. BMW has continued to invest in innovation to make the Mini cars better and better each year. Apart from high performance engineering, these cars are also great for their attractive interiors and headspace. Check out the sales of each Mini Cooper model during 2017 and 18 from the following table.
Model — — — — — 2018 Deliveries — — — 2017 Deliveries
Mini Hatch — — —182,189 — — — — — 194,070
Mini Clubman — — 47,236 — — — — — 59,572
Mini Convertible — 32,356 — — — — —33,351
Mini Countryman — 99,750 — — — — — 84,888
Total — — — — — -361,531 — — — — — -371,881
Mini Cooper is a part of the BMW group which is headquartered in Munich Germany. BMW has established a large manufacturing and sales network for the production and sales of BMW, Mini Cooper and RollsRoyce cars. Mini cars are available across 109 countries. BMW has a global sales network which includes 1600 dealerships of Mini. BMW group has also entered into a joint venture with China’s Great Wall Motors for the production of fully electric MINI cars. It is a 50–50 joint venture between BMW and GWM. Currently, Mini cars and their parts are produced in BMW factories located in countries including India, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Indonesia, Netherlands and Austria. The BMW group has established an innovative global production network which ensures premium quality as well as a high level of customisation for customers. The Mini buyers are offered the option to customise selected components according to their individual taste.
Mini cars belong to the premium small luxury car segment. These cars are mainly targeted at the higher end customer segment. Since always, Mini cars have remained the favourite of royalty, celebrities, musicians and film stars. The pricing strategy that BMW uses for Mini cars is called premium pricing. However, Mini cars offer a unique driving experience and for the premium prices that buyers pay, they receive a good quality and safe as well as stylish product. BMW also invests in research and innovation so that Mini cars are better than any competing car in the market. The hardtop 2 and 4 door Mini car models are priced lower than the Countryman models. The price of Mini Cooper Hardtop 2 door starts at $23,400 and that of Mini Cooper Hardtop 4 door at $24,900. On the other hand prices of John Cooper Works Hardtop 2 door start at $33,400 in the U.S.
Prices of Mini Cooper Countryman start at $28,400 and that of the Mini Cooper S countryman at $31,900. ‘John Cooper Works All 4 Countryman’ car models are priced from $41,400 onwards. Prices vary for the Mini Cooper Clubman and Convertible models. The costs can also vary from market to market depending upon production, logistics, marketing costs and several more factors. Above prices are for the U.S. market. However, despite the premium price tags, these cars offer a distinct experience and are popular because of their attractive build and the overall driving pleasure they offer.
Mini cars are very popular in the Western markets. Mini cooper has always managed to grab extra limelight because of being a favourite of celebrities. They have featured in several Hollywood movies including ‘Italian Job’ featuring Mini cars in several cars used to carry out a bank robbery. Mini cars have a distinct and unique image and mostly these cars have been associated with adventure and thrill. BMW has also released some sports models to attract the millenial generation buyers. However, while Mini cars are quite popular in various corners of the world, competition in the automobile industry has also grown intense. Therefore, BMW also invests in the promotion of Mini cars through several channels and mainly the digital channels. Apart from the country specific websites that act as both marketing and sales channels for Mini cars in those markets, Mini also uses other channels for promotions. The company also offers online customisation options for Mini buyers. Mini also targets government buyers through various programs like Mini Diplomatic sales program and Military program. The Mini Cooper cars have earned several rewards and recognition for their performance, safety and design as well as style features. Mini Cooper hatchback was among the IIHS top safety picks for 2018. In 2017, JD power ranked Mini Cooper as the highest ranked compact sporty car in initial quality.
BMW is using digital channels extensively for the promotion of BMW, MINI and Rolls Royce cars. The company also uses other channels of promotion like motor shows as well as races and rallies. The Mini Motorsports team has won several races and difficult rallies. From 2012 to 2015, it won the perilous Dakar rally. Again it finished second in the rally in 2016.The Mini John Cooper Works team also clinched the IMSA manufacturer’s championship in 2018. Now, the team’s eyes are set on the SRO TC America series. Apart from that, BMW group also showcases Mini cars at all major motor shows and events. Mini maintained an exciting presence at the IAA Frankfurt 2019. BMW displayed its all electric Mini at the show including some other models. BMW promotes its MINI cars at major events to gain media publicity and showcase its new and innovative models before the public. Together, all these channels and methods are highly effective at driving sales and brand recognition. BMW is also using social media to promote Mini Cooper and to engage its fans from all over the world.
Mini is a premium small car brand that enjoys strong brand equity in several market regions. In 2019, Mini is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Since its foundation, Mini has remained a favourite of celebs from all walks of life. However, since BMW acquired the car brand, it has invested a lot in innovation and brought several new models to the market. This has worked to grow the popularity of Mini cars and their sales. However, the company is focusing more on digitalisation than ever to reach new customer segments. It has entered into a partnership with Great Wall Motors of China to strengthen its presence in the Chinese market and to grow Mini sales. In 2019, the automobile industry has entered a difficult phase and to stay competitive and retain sales level, the company would have to maintain its focus upon complete customer experience. The iconic status of Mini Cooper in the premium small car segment is its primary strength. BMW is also focusing on strengthening its manufacturing and sales & distribution network to grow the sales of Mini Cooper around the world.
More sources : -
BMW Annual Report, 2018.
BMW Second Quarter financial report, 2019.