It looks like sedans aren't the only vehicle category taking a hit in favor of high-riding crossovers and SUVs. The Mini Convertible in all its fun to drive cuteness will soon be saying goodbye in the United States. According to Automotive News and their supply chain sources, Mini plans to end the production of its two-door convertible right after the run of its current-generation model stops in February 2024.
The reason is rumored to be twofold, despite Mini declining to comment on the issue, stating that the convertible still remains an appealing model in the lineup. The first is that the Mini Convertible isn't a volume seller, with only a bit over 4,000 of them sold in the United States in 2019, a number that's down 25 percent from 2018. The Mini Clubman and the Mini Convertible both share the bottom of the sales charts for the iconic British brand. The Mini Convertible has always been shadowed by its more appealing and relatively more iconic hatchback brother, with the convertible "requiring dedicated tooling and more complexity to build" according to Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions.
Fiorani has also noted that the Mini Convertible remains a niche player thanks to other more compelling choices for less money. "Buyers are moving to small crossovers while the few convertible buyers who remain can get the ... Mazda MX-5 or the sportier Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro".
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According to the Automotive News Data Center, small non-luxury cars accounted for just 9.2 percent of all U.S. light-vehicle sales in the first half of this year, a number that's down from almost 17 percent just five years ago. Non-luxury crossovers, on the other hand, account for 34.7 percent, a jump of almost 25 percent over the same period. So that's the second reason; shifting consumer demands. Also, Mini is looking to beef up its crossover lineup, with plans of introducing two crossover models, including one with a full-electric powertrain.
With the demand for convertibles slowly declining over the past few years, Mini had only built over 30,000 units last year. That's down 14 percent from 2016. If the rumor is indeed true, February 2024 will effectively end the two-decade run of the Mini Convertible since it was introduced in the United States in 2005.