Mini Cooper Convertible's Future Has Been Decided

Rumor / Comments

This shouldn't come as a big surprise.

Convertibles have always been a niche vehicle and have become increasingly difficult to sell over the past several years. The likes of the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Ford Mustang Convertible are a couple of rare exception examples. They both have long histories that help contribute to their longevity. Apparently this isn't the case for a certain other, though front-wheel-drive convertible.

According to Automotive News, the Mini Cooper Convertible is living on borrowed time and will be discontinued after the current-generation model ends production in February 2024. Apparently, it's not just a decline in sales that's causing this to happen, but also because its production requires "dedicated tooling and more complexity to build."

2017-2021 MINI John Cooper Works Convertible Open Top Mini
2017-2021 MINI John Cooper Works Convertible Soft Top Mini
2019-2021 Mini Cooper Convertible Rear View Driving Mini

BMW, Mini's parent company, is looking to cut costs these days due to economic concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The combination of the Mini convertible's production complexity (translation: added costs) and a decline in sales makes this a relatively straightforward decision. For example, only around 4,000 examples were sold in the US in 2019, a 25 percent decrease compared to 2018.

Meanwhile, the convertible hardtop sibling remains far more popular and it's expected to receive a redesign when the time comes. Mini as a brand has been struggling somewhat to find its footing in recent years. An earlier report indicated the brand wants to further expand its crossover lineup with a new model even larger than the Countryman.

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2019-2021 Mini Cooper Hardtop Dashboard Mini
2019-2021 Mini Cooper Convertible Engine Mini
2019-2021 Mini Cooper Convertible Trunk Space Mini

Adding more all-electric models alongside the popular Mini Cooper SE is another goal. A future EV crossover is also very likely. The new combustion-powered crossover, which will likely share most of its underpinnings with the BMW X3, could come as soon as 2024 - the very same year the Mini drop-top gets the axe. For now, the automaker has not confirmed any of these plans but given the current state of the automotive market, this rumor does make sense.

Assuming it's true, it would also mean the end of the Mini convertible's two-decade run following its 2005 market launch.

2019-2021 Mini Cooper Convertible Front View Mini
2019-2021 Mini Cooper Convertible Rear View Mini
2019-2021 Mini Cooper Convertible Open Top Mini
2019-2021 Mini Cooper Convertible Open Top Mini
Source Credits: Automotive News

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