There's nothing quite so telling about the strength of one car in a brand's lineup until you look at the sales figures when it's essentially not available for sale. Mini's U.S. sales
In February, Mini's U.S. sales figures were off almost 43% over the same month last year. This was pretty much because dealers are selling off the last of the 2013 Mini Cooper and Cooper S hatches before the redone 2014 Mini hatchbacks arrive.
The Countryman is the only other reliable seller in the lineup. It posted 1,370 sales for February, off by 17.6% from last February. But that was nothing compared to the normal Cooper and Cooper S hatches, of which there are only 2013s until the new ones get to dealer lots. Sales of Mini's bread and butter fell 77.6%, or just 445 cars last month.
With all of the heat Mini takes about having a confusing range of variants on the hatchback and the Countryman, the sales slide in February looks even dramatic. What about the other five versions of the Mini?
After the Countryman and the hardtop, here's how the rest of the Mini lineup fared in February:
Clubman: 215 units, up 8.6%
Interesting it's actually up year-over-year, since there's a new Clubman coming.
Convertible: 129 units, down 17.8%
Makes sense, because who buys a convertible in winter (especially this winter)?
Paceman: 126 units (not sold this time last year)
This is available with all-wheel drive, at least.
Roadster: 95 units, down 47.5%
Again, it has a soft-top.
Coupe: 79 units, down 33.1%
Yeah, it still has that roof.
This isn't meant to poke fun at the irrational derivates in the Mini lineup. There's a bigger idea that Mini still means that square, little hatchback to most people. They're either waiting for the new one or can't be swayed into getting into one of the derivatives.
So while Mini may have been a big loser in the February car sales race, expect all of the pent-up demand for the hatch to make it a big winner in the months ahead.