We say goodbye to Mini's weird two-door SUV.
The Mini Paceman is currently built at BMW's plant in Graz, Austria. For 2017, this factory will start to produce the G30 BMW 5 Series. In order to make room for the new 5 Series, the Paceman will be killed off. A new Mini Countryman, which is built in the same factory on the same platform, will be revealed before the end of this year. The Mini brand is moving into its third generation of cars since being acquired by BMW. The company will build cars that are more mature compared to early Minis which were very cartoony and quite quirky.
Mini wants to have five distinct model lineups. The first three models, the hatchback, Clubman, and convertible, are already in production. A more upmarket Countryman SUV will be the fourth model, and a rumored Mini sedan will be the fifth. A sedan model could help Mini sell more cars in the US and Asia, where hatchbacks do not sell as well as their sedan counterparts. We like the idea that Mini is embracing some of the values from its BMW parent brand. Mini Coopers always had that quirkiness, but we think that people will be more willing to buy models from the brand if they interpret them as "little BMWs." We could see Mini's sales increasing in the future.
The Paceman was always a bit of an anomaly. Two-door SUVs are a very niche market unless they are called the Jeep Wrangler. Even the Wrangler now has a four-dour version in order to appeal to more practical buyers. Two-door SUVs are becoming a very difficult value proposition for automakers, and we doubt that we will see many more of them in the future.