Originally expected to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show, it appears as though those waiting to get their hands on MINI’s new Countryman crossover will have to wait a little longer… again. After the Frankfurt delay it was expected the CUV would appear at the next major auto show: Detroit. Now word comes that instead of being unveiled on U.S. soil in January, the Countryman won’t appear until the Geneva Auto Show in March.
The reason for the holdup has to do with MINI’s parent company. BMW has contracted Magna Steyr to build the Countryman in Austria, but that plant is currently the location where the BMW X3 is built. As an incredibly profitable vehicle for BMW (and apparently still a reasonably high volume seller) BMW is loathe to hault production before it starts building the new X3 in the U.S.
So in order to squeeze ever last cent out of the original X3, BMW is delaying the Countryman.
Word of this development comes from the MINI-freaks at MotoringFile, who have also learned that the Countryman will come with a banded AWD line, much like BMW’s xDrive, which will be called All4.