Question is, will it even work?
In many ways, it’s make or break time for Mini. BMW’s struggling small car brand just launched the all-electric Mini Cooper SE and more EVs are planned. But is that enough to guarantee long-term survival? Unknown, but BMW’s bean counters will be watching the numbers extremely closely. When a brand requires drastic product changes for survival, chances are the ways in which those products are marketed will have to change as well. Fortunately, Mini already has an idea on what to do, thanks to Tesla.
According to CarsDirect, the automaker has sent bulletins to its American dealerships outlining plans to launch a new campaign by the end of this month that involves advertising the new Cooper SE next to Tesla showrooms at shopping malls.
Not only will the foot traffic be nice, but those who walk into a Tesla store while carrying their recent purchases from The Gap will be shown what Mini now has to offer. Ironically, Tesla can’t seem to decide whether or not to close some of its stores due to the high expenses involved. One can easily shop for and order a Tesla online instead.
As for the Mini Cooper SE, one has to wonder whether the brand’s proposed promotional strategy is really a good idea. For example, the Cooper SE will offer a driving range, based on its European specs, between 146 to 168 miles. The Tesla Model 3, according to the EPA, has an estimated range of 310 miles. It even offers semi-autonomous driving, a feature the Mini brand as a whole currently lacks.
The Model 3’s five-door fastback body style is also far more useful than the Cooper SE’s three-door hatchback design. The only exceptions are city driving and smaller parking spots. Where the Cooper SE could potentially win over more buyers, however, is pricing.
The Model 3 has a starting price of around $40,000 while the Cooper SE is priced from 32,000 Euros. Official US pricing has yet to be announced, but a direct currency conversion comes to just below $36,000. A few thousand dollars may not be a big deal for some, especially when the Model 3 is so much more car but still, cheaper is cheaper. We’ll have to see how this all plays out in the coming weeks and months.