BMW Asia has stopped the assembly of MINI in Asia due to dismal sales of the Countryman which was the only car assembled in Asia from the lineup.
One of the famous and iconic car brand of the world has been MINI. Known for their tiny cars with powerful engines, they earned the reputation of being the driver’s car in the past couple of decades. The high power-to-weight ratio helped them give a turn of speed which nothing else in the price band could, Handling has been a forte of most cars in their lineup making them fun to drive. The company entered the Asian market in 2012 with a lineup of four models which were initially imported into the country via the CBU route. However, in order to keep the prices low, they started assembling the Countryman which was their highest seller in Asia at the BMW plant.
The official reason stated for the same is the fact that the new generation model is around the corner which in reality is about a year away. The other models like the Cooper D and Cooper S will be sold in the country and will continue to be imported in CBU form which makes them inaccessible for many people who wish to own one.
The sales figures for MINI in Asia have not been so great. Till the end of 2014, their total sales were a paltry 1123 units which means under 400 units per year. This makes Asia one of the worse markets for the brand in the hundred countries it operates in. Niche premium compact cars have majorly been a failure in Asia due to the high prices and the fact that premium car owners are usually chauffeured around and these hatchbacks are definitely not suitable for it. The new generation Countryman is expected to be imported in CBU form once it’s launched globally.