Mini boss outlines future product plan: Bigger Countryman, Rocketman coming – report

Mini looks to introduce new models, in a push to crack the Chinese market.

Reports from Auto Express in the UK claim Mini is set to introduce three new products by 2024: a smaller version of its three-door hatch, a full-EV crossover built in China, and a larger iteration of its Countryman.

As a result, the future of its Clubman, Cabrio and plug-in models looks unclear.

Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, Bernd Körber, head of Mini, claimed plans are “80 per cent complete”, starting with it launching a new, smaller three-door hatch in 2023 – hinting that the popular little Rocketman concept has a future.

“When I say small, I mean I want to make the small three-door hatch again. Today there are some restrictions for pedestrian safety, but we would like to, in terms of design and exterior, make the three-door hatch as small as possible,” said Körber.

It will be offered with both electric, and petrol powertrains. The EV Model will ride on an all-new platform developed in conjunction with joint-venture partner Great Wall, built in China, and sold globally.

The Petrol version will use a BMW Group platform, and continue to be built in Oxford, UK.

The second new Mini will be a fully-electric crossover, arriving in 2024. Like the hatch, it will be built in China, on the same joint-venture Great Wall platform.

This new model will help the brand infiltrate the Chinese market, where the appetite for electrified-crossovers is high.

Körber also explained its dimensions will result in the Countryman growing, becoming similar in size to the BMW X1:

“(it) will move into a larger segment, and the new hatch will go smaller, which makes space for another crossover.”

“…we talk half a segment increase for the Countryman, so in the direction of (BMW) X1 size but with the Mini proportions,” Körber concluded.

The Countryman is currently built by BMW group third-party partner NedCar, in the Netherlands. The report was not clear whether the new Countryman will continue that relationship, or instead become an in-house manufactured product.

As for the future of its Clubman, Cabrio and plug-in hybrid models, the report claims “an official decision on the future of those models had not yet been made”.

Locally, Mini has sold 2486 vehicles so far in 2020, which is 9.8 per cent down year-on-year.

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