BMW is reportedly planning to shrink its seven-model brand Mini by three cars in an effort to increase profitability and streamline Mini.
The brand's other four models made up nearly 95 percent of the around 325,000 vehicles produced by Mini in 2014, according to IHS Automotive Data. The Mini Cooper hatchback and the Countryman crossover have been Mini's best-selling models, Jalopnik reported.
Mini, which builds around 313,000 vehicles annually, has a complicated company infrascture offering seven models built on three platforms and manufactured at three plants. BMW Group doesn't post individual numbers for BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce financial reports, and analysts have speculated that Mini may not be making a profit.
"BMW has struggled to make Mini into a profit center from the beginning," Max Warburton, an auto analyst with Bernstein Research, told Automotive News. The brand's complex lineup is "hardly a recipe for making money, at least compared to some of their BMW-branded products," he said.
Mini's upcoming lineup will include the top-selling Cooper hatchback as well as an all-new Mini Clubman wagon, a four-door model that will be about a foot longer than the smallest Mini offering. A redesigned Countryman is slated for 2016.
"Like a superhero, each of these cars has its own personality and unique capabilities," Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW board member who heads Mini, said in an interview late last year.
While he didn't specify which nameplates would be cut, Schwarzenbauer said Mini would begin focusing on these "superhero" models.
The brand's main plant in Oxford, England, has been restructured to produce 1,000 vehicles daily, an increase from around 700. An integral part of the restricting was the transition to the BMW Group's UKL platform, which now underpins Mini's new three- and five-door Hatch models.