MINIâ€™s biggest model to date is has jumped on to the crossover bandwagon with the company insisting that its new creation, the Countryman, is definitely not a 4×4 and absolutely not a hatchback. It’s a ‘crossover’ and no argument. Has it jumped the shark as well?
Of course, the motivation behind all this is the predicted sales that it might achieve. ‘We want a slice of this particular pie’, a MINI executive told us, and with the Nissan Qashqai’s success as the benchmark, it’s difficult to argue with that.
MINI has also been very aggressive with its pricing: an entry level model is competing on price with a Ford Focus, which means buyers get a ‘premium’ car for the same cash. The Countryman now underscores MINI’s position as ‘brand’ – no longer is it just a small-car manufacturer. With the Countryman MINI wants to retain its hatchback customers who have no choice to look elsewhere when they have a family.