For Sale By:Dealer
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 4
Warranty: Vehicle has an existing warranty
Drive Type: Front-wheel Drive
Sub Model: Cooper
Exterior Color: Red
Number of Doors: 3 Doors
Mini Clubman for Sale
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Auto blogFri, 12 Oct 2012 13:29:00 EST
There was a fair bit of hullabaloo two years ago when Mini announced a return to the World Rally Championship for this season, but the road to making that happen has been as rocky as a gravel stage. It spent 2011 developing its JCW Countryman WRC challenger, changing its mind about how it wanted to work with Prodrive, dumped a driver due to budget issues, then registering its entry after the deadline had passed in a ploy that might or might not have been a protest aimed at the WRC promoter.
Mini had stated that it wanted to win the whole championship in 2013, and spent 2011 doing six WRC rounds as development. As it stands for this year, the WRC Team Mini Portugal - paid for by Mini, run by ProDrive - scored 26 points in the first rally at Monte Carlo and has so far blanked the rest of the season. The relationship between Mini and ProDrive appeared to be an ever-contentious affair, at the end of this season, even the money will dry up along with what support there was.
Because it contested every race in the calendar, though, Mini says it has completed the FIA requirements for homologation of the JCW Countryman WRC; meaning that privateers can continue purchasing the car and run it in the WRC. BMW Motorsport is continuing development and parts supply of the 1.6-liter turbo engine, and a report in Autosport indicates that ProDrive will continue to run Minis in the series next year.
BMW is planning a fairly extensive overhaul in a bid to recoup some its annual costs, with CEO Norbert Reithofer (pictured above) aiming to save three to four billion euro ($4 to $5.4 billion) per year to help keep the company's profit margins between eight and 10 percent, while also maintaining investments in production expansion and new tech. BMW's profit margins sat at 9.4 percent in 2013.
According to Automotive News Europe, Reithofer is none too pleased about costs at Mini and on the 1 Series, although neither AN nor its source story, from Germany's Manager Magazin, elaborate on what steps could be taken to improve losses on either project. That makes it hard to figure out just where the fat will be trimmed from.
What may happen, though, is that BMW attempts to trim 100 million euros ($135 million) from its German labor costs each year; a solution hinted at a few weeks ago by Germany newspaper Muenchner Merkur. While a dramatic cost reduction, 100 million euros still doesn't begin to even approach the savings envisioned by Reithofer.
The two-door Mini Cooper is getting two additional portals in its next generation. A coming five-door Cooper S with central exhaust has been spotted out testing, the idea presumably being that it will pose a better challenge to other small, premium hatches in the segment like the A1 Sportback from Audi. Based on the same UKL platform that will support the production version of the BMW Concept Active Tourer, the wheelbase has been lengthened to make more room for rear passengers.
It should be revealed on the auto show circuit at some point next year, getting buyers ready for its production in 2014. We'll find out then if it gets a special name and how it fits in with - or perhaps replaces - the Clubman.