MINI is on the verge of launching its third-generation Cooper
, and will soon follow up with new versions of the Convertible
and Countryman variants and possibly even a new sports car
, but the first details on the fourth-gen Cooper family have already emerged, despite the cars not being due until early next decade.
Citing recent comments made by MINI boss Peter Schwarzenbauer, Autocar
reports that MINI will scale back its number of offerings from the seven variants that make up the second-gen family to just four or five core models for the fourth-gen family. MINI’s third-gen family is expected to feature six or seven variants.
Schwarzenbauer is reported to have explained that a reduction in models will allow engineers to concentrate more of the available resources on improvements to quality and design. The core models--presumably--would include the three-door Hardtop, Convertible, long-wheelbase Clubman, Countryman crossover and most likely a sporty model.
This is in stark contrast to MINI’s previous thinking that more models was the way to go. As recently as one year ago, Schwarzenbauer revealed that MINI was looking at launching as many as 10 different models
for the third-gen family. Now it seems MINI has seen the folly of stretching its brand too thin; hopefully some of this thinking will affect the planners at MINI’s parent company BMW.
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