It's been a long time coming, but BMW looks like it's finally admitting it has an addiction to variants. Well, at least it recognizes it has a problem at its Mini division and they may correct the over-population of Coopers.
The latest signs of reason came from Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW board member for Mini and Rolls-Royce. He told Autocar recently that the company could cut the Mini lineup down to "four or five hero cars," instead of the current seven variants it now offers. Schwarzenbauer said Mini's money needs to be spent on improving quality and designing more differentiation between the models rather than just making them longer/taller/sadder-looking.
Maybe this is forced rationalization because they ran out of names like the BMW division. Or maybe this is all a part of the looming FWD BMWs that eliminate the need for Mini to be somewhere they can sell a whole range of front-driven cars.
But a German company saying one of its brands needs to be in fewer niches? I'll believe it when I see it.