The Mini Coupe, Roadster and Paceman all reportedly face the axe as the BMW-owned British brand looks to strengthen its “pillar” models in its new, third-generation line-up.
Asked if the company was planning new versions of the hatch-based two-seat Coupe and Roadster models, Mini product management chief Oliver Friedmann told industry journal Automotive News Europe: “It’s not decided but most probably this is not a priority.”
Friedmann confirmed the brand’s thinking was similar with the Countryman-based Paceman – the future of which also remains under a cloud beyond its current generation.
“The Paceman is also not a first priority,” he revealed on the floor of the Geneva motor show.
Friedmann acknowledged Mini needed to be “more relevant to more people”, and planned to do so by focusing on three key pillars: the signature three-door hatchback, the Countryman crossover, and the new five-door hatchback/Clubman.
“Our first priority is to roll out a portfolio that has strong pillars and to be absolutely clear what each stands for,” Friedmann said.
Sales of the three niche variants struggled in Europe last year. IHS Automotive data reveals Mini sold just 2678 Roadsters, 3858 Coupes and 8229 Pacemans, compared with 78,102 hatches and 47,177 Countrymans.
The Clubman also limped to just 7485 sales in Europe last year, though the future of a new-generation version is assured. The new Clubman, revealed in concept form in Geneva, will be based on the all-new five-door hatch.
Australian sales largely mirrored those in Europe last year. Paceman sales totalled 103 and combined Coupe and Roadster sales tallied just 129, paling in comparison to the hatch/Clubman (1646) and Countryman (509).
The third-generation three-door Mini Cooper hatch launches in Australia in the coming weeks, while the new five-door hatch is destined to reach our shores before the end of 2014.