Why MINI Called Its New 5-Door the 4-Door in North America

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

The power of the Internet is reaching into the boardrooms of automakers around the world and nowhere is that more evident than in the naming of MINI‘s latest model.

Called the 5-door throughout the world, MINI’s new “sedan” will officially wear the 4-door name here in North America because of three little letters: SEO.

Yes, the reasons for MINI’s odd naming structure has everything to do with search engine optimization.

Speaking with AutoGuide at the L.A. Auto Show last week MINI USA product boss Pat McKenna said that, “[MINI] had quite the debate about it,” and that, “we were very specific in our naming of the 4-door.”

Elaborating on those comments McKenna said “The simple premise behind it is we want consideration. When people go to a car buying website we see click here for 2-door, click here for 4-door. We want to stay within that convention.”

MINI has had a rough sales year with the delay of the arrival of the new hard top model as well as a stop-sale ordered during an EPA investigation into its fuel economy ratings. The plan from here is to focus on volume models to boost sales and the company isn’t taking any chances, even tailoring its names to ensure maximum consideration.

“If we can just get a fraction of that consideration, that’s great for us,” McKenna said.


Discuss this story at our MINI Hardtop forum.

Colum Wood
Colum Wood

With AutoGuide from its launch, Colum previously acted as Editor-in-Chief of Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine where he became a certifiable car snob driving supercars like the Koenigsegg CCX and racing down the autobahn in anything over 500 hp. He has won numerous automotive journalism awards including the Best Video Journalism Award in 2014 and 2015 from the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Colum founded Geared Content Studios, VerticalScope's in-house branded content division and works to find ways to integrate brands organically into content.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Earl Earl on Nov 25, 2014

    Mini Canada site calls it a 5 door, I believe it is in NA. A 4 door leads one to believe it has a trunk rather than a hatchback.

  • Mitchell Leitman Mitchell Leitman on Dec 24, 2014

    I just checked and it's called a 5 door in Mexico too. I think the article should be changed to read that 1 in 3 North American countries will be marketing the car as having 4 doors.