With the debut of a new MINI hardtop, those awaiting a second-generation Clubman will have to be patient… maybe forever.
Speaking to AutoGuide at the New York Auto Show last week, MINI product boss Pat McKenna revealed that the Clubman concept revealed just a few weeks prior at the Geneva Motor Show isn’t heading to production any time soon. The current model will go on hiatus at the end of this year and won’t immediately be replaced.
That doesn’t mean MINI will ease up on the products, however, with McKenna confirming that before year’s end the brand will debut another addition. “It’s not a completely new model,” said McKenna, “It’s not a MINI Suburban.” Instead, looking around the brand’s auto show booth, McKenna said “it’s a modification of something that’s here.”
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The axing of the Clubman comes amid rumors that MINI is looking to cull its herd of models, something McKenna confirms. When asked if MINI is planning to drop unsuccessful models, he responded, “it’s something we’re looking at.”
Dropping models amid a sales slump seems like a dangerous move, but McKenna isn’t worried, commenting that the brand will rebound thanks to the new hardtop. While the first quarter of 2014 saw a precipitous drop in MINI sales, including a 40 percent decline in March, he says that’s due to a total lack of product availability with only 60 new models sold at that point and just a handful of old ones still available. McKenna is so confident he believes the introduction of the new hardtop will put the monthly sales back in the black.
What isn’t yet clear is if the newest MINI model will help deliver more sales than the Clubman ever did.
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