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  #631  
Old 06-09-2014, 05:38 PM
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Yeah but the Clubman never sold very well, assumably because it didn't fit into the traditional wagon role (my assumption). I know that's specifically why Krista loves hers, but I really like the idea of a real MINI wagon.

Audis are great if you've got that much cash to spend, but I'd be all over a MINI wagon
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  #632  
Old 06-09-2014, 06:46 PM
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I would have just preferred two club doors, but I can't say I hate the newer design direction. As with everything new I want to see it in person, but this news is very encouraging.
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  #633  
Old 06-09-2014, 07:06 PM
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Yeah but the Clubman never sold very well, assumably because it didn't fit into the traditional wagon role (my assumption).
Oh, I'm sure that's the case....but that's exactly what made MINI who they were. They were always a step outside the norm. Was it as good as a full wagon? No. Was it still remarkably functional as a small 2.5 door shooting brake? Absolutely.

The second that the brand starts catering to what the "normal" masses want is the second that the brand begins to lose its identity and the things that make it special. Plenty of car companies already offer normal cars for normal peoples' needs.
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  #634  
Old 06-09-2014, 08:26 PM
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I mean, I see what you're saying, I just don't think they're mutually exclusive. The MINI brand can be quirky but still appeal to non-enthusiasts. I'm personally super excited for the 4 door Clubman. If Krista doesn't trade hers in for it I most certainly will.
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  #635  
Old 06-09-2014, 08:43 PM
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I mean, I see what you're saying, I just don't think they're mutually exclusive. The MINI brand can be quirky but still appeal to non-enthusiasts.
The mutual exclusivity comes when they feel the need to change their designs to meet non-enthusiasts' expectations. That in turn makes the cars more and more "standard" and less quirky. That's why a brand known for small cars now sells various SUV models despite starting their business with Anti-SUV ads. 4 door wagons and SUVs aren't part of the original Mini brand identity....they're just sacrifices being made to meet the demand of the masses.

I could be wrong, but I'd imagine that if a 4 door clubman is available, that means the 2 door is no longer an option. That's where the problem arises...they replace the models that make them special and replace them with models that are more "Reasonable".
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  #636  
Old 06-10-2014, 12:36 AM
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^ Bingo
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  #637  
Old 06-10-2014, 05:15 AM
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^Agreed.

Here's the thing to keep in mind however. For everyone 'special' MINI that becomes more of a normal car to appeal to the general population, that just means more resources to go towards the other really special cars that the enthusiasts cherish that the automaker will reveal in the future (for instance, the F56 JCW). Fact is, if automakers made cars that have appeal based exclusively on the opinions of enthusiasts, they wouldn't stay in business.

Who knows, maybe there will be a MINI truck in our future?
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  #638  
Old 06-10-2014, 06:12 AM
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Fact is, if automakers made cars that have appeal based exclusively on the opinions of enthusiasts, they wouldn't stay in business.
1. I never said exclusively to enthusiasts. I would never say a 2-door shooting brake is a model pointed exclusively to enthusiasts. I would agree that it may not meet the needs of full-sized wagon shoppers.

2. How do you figure? The classic Mini is one of the longest produced cars in the history of the automobile. It was a tiny, 2-door, low power, and rather "basic" car, and when they made a longer version, it still just had 2 doors. They never made the thing bigger or added any doors as the public began asking for larger cars.....they simply kept doing their thing and it sold. It's not like the classic mini was ever a truly "reasonable" car for the general public...and yet it still worked.
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  #639  
Old 06-10-2014, 10:31 AM
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The current owners of MINI are simply moving their business in the direction of more sales.... More models, more options, more doors, etc..... The more that's offered the better chance they hit a person's buy button.... What doesn't sell, they will drop and replace with another model....That doesn't necessarily mean they will always hit the enthusiasts buy button.... The mass market is the audience they are selling to...
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  #640  
Old 06-10-2014, 01:21 PM
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Which it's totally lame. And why I have lost respect for a lot of car brands.
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  #641  
Old 06-10-2014, 01:50 PM
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What if Porsche started to focus their brand on the Cayenne and Panamera, and started getting sloppy with the iconic 2 door models. But it was all for the sake of "moving the business in the direction of more sales". Porsche likely won't do this, but what if BMW bought them and started screwing with the designs and pissing off the enthusiasts because they had to meet new crash standards. Lol.

See what I'm saying here. Expanding sales should not cone at the expense of losing your origins. Especially when your origins are one of the best selling and longest running car icons of the last century.
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  #642  
Old 06-10-2014, 01:55 PM
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They're in the business to make money, so I expect them to do whatever they think will earn them the most money. The MINI brand has been chock full of cars that only appeal to a small segment of the market for basically forever, I'm shocked it's taken them this long to clean up shop.

Porsche started down that path when they released the Cayenne, let's not pretend that they aren't already trying to appeal to a wider market. Plus, Porsche makes sports / supercars, and MINI has never been that. MINI is just following suit now.

I don't even agree that MINI is getting sloppy. Aside from aesthetics, both F56 models have been improved in nearly every measurable way. It is for sure the most refined car MINI has ever produced.
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  #643  
Old 06-10-2014, 04:06 PM
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They're in the business to make money, so I expect them to do whatever they think will earn them the most money.
I don't really understand this argument. That argument basically relies on the idea that in order to be successful, one has to go against their original intentions. I don't believe this to be true. I believe it would have been possible for MINI to make money while holding true to their original brand philosophy rather than giving in.

If it worked for the classic Mini, it could work for the new ones.

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Porsche started down that path when they released the Cayenne, let's not pretend that they aren't already trying to appeal to a wider market. Plus, Porsche makes sports / supercars, and MINI has never been that. MINI is just following suit now.
The difference is that despite releasing a big SUV and a big 4-door family hauler, Porsche still predominantly stays true to their beloved 2-door 911 and Boxster line (550). Most of their line is made up of the 911 and it has some additions on the side for those who need them.

I was fine with MINI making an SUV because I understood....but I'm worried about the addition of random four-doors and full wagons as it feels like a step away from what MINI stood for.

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I don't even agree that MINI is getting sloppy. Aside from aesthetics, both F56 models have been improved in nearly every measurable way. It is for sure the most refined car MINI has ever produced.
I would never insinuate that they were getting sloppy in terms of fit and finish. Models seem to always improve in those manners. I'm just sad at loss of the clubman and the divergence from the character of "MINI".
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  #644  
Old 06-10-2014, 05:17 PM
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Rally, one thing you forget when you compare the original Mini to the new MINI is that it wasn't just a niche car, it became a solution to multiple problems with the european car market. It was the small, efficient car that was needed, but it had a character to it that helped it outsell the competition. MINI still has that character, but the market is flooded with fuel efficient cars to fit various needs.

I would love for MINI, Porsche, Lotus, and others to not branch out and make SUV's and big sedans, but to compete and grow (and profit) they must. It's sort of like when you were doing shirts and stickers; you didn't really care as much for the sticker side of things, but it helped drive customers to the store and create profits so the business could grow and expand. I see the diverse offerings of a Countryman, 4-door Clubman, Roadster, and others as the way for MINI to bring in new customers and become a stronger brand as a whole. Porsche was able to stay true to the 911 thanks to the other models they created.

In reference to the growing overhang and bigger front end, it's strictly down to increasing safety standards and is out of their control. If the Porsche 911 were a front engine car, you'd see a significant design change to accomodate for the new safety standards, and their enthusiast market would moan and groan just like the MINI fans are doing.
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  #645  
Old 06-10-2014, 05:45 PM
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Rally, one thing you forget when you compare the original Mini to the new MINI is that it wasn't just a niche car, it became a solution to multiple problems with the european car market. It was the small, efficient car that was needed, but it had a character to it that helped it outsell the competition. MINI still has that character, but the market is flooded with fuel efficient cars to fit various needs.
I don't mean to bring up the Classic to say that the new MINI ought to utilize the same method of success. I only bring it up to point out that you can take a somewhat unreasonable car and still sell it in a world fascinated with big 4 doors. It may take some work and innovation, but you can certainly reach success while still being outside the box.....you don't have to position yourself back inside the box to make money.

MINI would need to come up with their own new solution, but I'm confident they could still grow the business producing little coupes and 2-door shooting brakes. I don't think big SUVs and wagons are the only answer for success.

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It's sort of like when you were doing shirts and stickers; you didn't really care as much for the sticker side of things, but it helped drive customers to the store and create profits so the business could grow and expand.

That's a good example. I felt so guilty about producing stickers despite my personal distaste for stickers and it ate away at me to see that I had diverged from my original intentions....so I made the decision to cut off my stickers sales entirely. I made some changes to the business model and to my marketing...and I've been successful now selling products that meet my original business philosophy without compromising to meet what the general public demands. I'm sure I could still be selling thousands of stickers because people still love them....but I wasn't happy selling them so I stopped.

In the same way, I'm sure that selling more, larger models will increase the sales figures of the MINI brand....but it's such a divergence from their original intentions when they started the business and I don't agree with that move. I think they could have stuck to the original concept of small 2-door models and although it would have been much harder, I'm confident they could have come up with something to make the cars stand out above the rest in that market and succeed. Instead they are taking the easy way out and just making cars like every other company....just with cute round headlights tacked on.
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