As in every brand in automotive industry, it is really hard for things to be always pleasant. It wouldn’t be normal to always be pleasant. Every brand has some points where it is going well and some points that should be corrected.
In the case of MINI, a brand with such a long history, strong image and eventful past (see Mini Ownership: From the Past to the Present) things wouldn’t be different. MINI’s most strong points are the strong Image, the iconic design and the German Engineering included in the products. On the other hand, the weakest points deal with the product range and the consistency to the heritage, and the market share. Let’s find out more details for each point.
The level of detail that MINI gives to its brand Image has been described in The Mini Image – An Icon for more than 50 years. All the branding and the fact that the drivers of MINI consider themselves like different people, well.. not normal, has created a huge fan club for the brand. The NOT NORMAL campaign runs for so many years and the success it has is undeniable. More recently, the NOT NORMAL campaign run by Iris has been nominated from The Guardian as the best consumer campaign.
The design elements of the car, the round headlamps, the flat roof and the distinctive A and C pillars remain intact for more than 50 years. The third generation of MINI retains all these elements and still has a fresh look to see the bright future that comes.
The influence of the BMW Group on the brand is indisputable. The production line and all the process that take place there have strong fault proof processes that prevent any faulty part to be placed on the final products (see also The production of MINI). Furthermore, the development of the UKL 1 platform recently, have give the opportunity for both MINI and BMW to plan the production of many small and compact cars from one platform. This is a fact that the shared engineering plays an important role universally in the BMW Group.
The product range and the consistency to the heritage.
It is a fact that as the generations of the car evolve, the car itself becomes larger. New safety legislations and the implementation of new technology make the dimensions of the car bigger. When the characteristic of the car is its small size, this could be a serious problem. The problem was obvious at the launch of the MINI under the BMW Group in 2001, when the first generation of the New MINI then, was not widely accepted from the fans of the classic old Mini.
More recently, the launch of MINI Countryman in 2010 has shocked the fans of Mini, as its enormous size and weight was considered far away from the brand’s heritage. Despite the inconvenience that the big model brought to the admirers of the brand, the car is a success for MINI, and has increased the sales of the company across the global demand (see also The production of MINI) and it is very profitable for the company. This means that a brand has not only the obligation to stay on the footsteps of its history but also to evolve and finally to survive. MINI has managed it quite well.
Tiny market share
The rank of MINI in the European Market in 2012 was in number 20. Its market share was 1.2% and it is consider quite low within the market. Despite that fact, the truth is that the production of MINI runs in full capacity (see also The production of MINI) and it almost manages to cover the increasing demand. As one of every six cars produced by BMW Group is a MINI, and the 40% of all the UK exported cars are MINIs, in contrast to the low market share, MINI is a very strong company and an important factor for the UK economy.
Also, the market share in 2013 increased to 1.3% in EU market and also in US market, boosting the market share of BMW Group in total. The increasing demand for MINI Countryman in the Eastern World and the new generation of MINI Hatchback are strong factors for a prospect future and it is likely that the market share of the brand will increase soon.
The final word
MINI, as every company in automotive industry, has its strong and weak points. These points have been presented above. The strong points come from the Image, the Design and the Quality of Engineering from the BMW Group. These factors make the brand strong in the market.
Despite that, the market share remains small compared to the other brands. Also, someone can say that some models might not be so correlated to the heritage deriving from the Classic Mini. In contrast to these drawbacks, MINI is going well and the sales are rising, and one of the major factors is MINI Countryman, the car that someone could tell that doesn’t fit within the brand. This proves that MINI is going well, and based on the heritage evolves according to the image for more fun and playful cars, but also for more practical cars, and the people’s demand for them is a proof of that.
- Focus 2 Move (2013) European Car Market Top 25 Brands ranking in April 2013 [online] available from http://focus2move.com/item/674-european-car-market-top-25-brands-ranking-in-april-2013-renault-and-mercedes-were-up [16 January 2014] Comments: Car manufacturers ranking in European Market.
- Bekker, H. (2013) 2013 (Q3) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands [online] available from http://www.best-selling-cars.com/europe/2013-q3-europe-best-selling-car-manufacturers-brands/ [16 January 2014] Comments: Q3 2013 car manufacturers ranking in European Market.
- Bekker, H. (2014) 2013 (Full Year) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands [online] available from http://www.best-selling-cars.com/europe/2013-full-year-europe-best-selling-car-manufacturers-brands/ [16 January 2014] Comments: Full Year 2013 car manufacturers ranking in European Market.
- The Guardian (2014) Campaign: MINI NOT NORMAL [online] available from http://www.theguardian.com/best-awards/mini-not-normal [15 January 2014] Comments: Details about the latest NOT NORMAL campaign and the nomination from The Guardian
- Gribben, R. (2014) Mini sales help BMW stay ahead [online] available from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10569892/Mini-sales-help-BMW-stay-ahead.html [15 January 2014] Comments: Details about the increase of the sales of MINI and its impact on the total sales of the BMW Group.
- Love, M. (2013) New Mini Hatch: car review [online] available from http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/dec/01/new-mini-hatch-car-review [16 January 2014] Comments: Review of third generation of MINI Hatchback.
- Mower J. (2013) UPDATED – TMW – BMW MINI, has it been watered down beyond recognition? [online] available from http://jomomag.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/tmw-bmw-mini-has-it-been-beyond.html [16 January 2014] Comments: Review of the expansion of MINI product range and the connection to the heritage of classic Mini.
- Motor Intelligence (2013) New Vehicle Sales [online] available from http://www.motorintelligence.com/fileopen.asp?File=SR_Sales76.xls [16 January 2014] Comments: The market share of car manufacturers in the US market.