MINI Temporarily Stops Importing Manual-equipped Vehicles To the United States

MINI Temporarily Stops Importing Manual-equipped Vehicles To the United States
We’re living in a day and age where automakers need to calibrate a transmission with the engine and the rest of the vehicle before rolling out the car to the dealership. From a software standpoint, that’s the biggest challenge imaginable. MINI is a prime example of this scenario, announcing that manual-equipped vehicles won’t be available for a period of time in the United States.
MINI Temporarily Stops Importing Manual-equipped Vehicles To the United States
Head of communications Andrew Cutler made it clear to Motoringfile that “we at MINI USA would like to have a definitive timeline, but it would be too early to say.” On the upside, the three-pedal setup “will continue to be an option for the foreseeable future on most models.”

In the meantime, customers are treated to an eight-speed automatic in the JCW Clubman and the long-awaited DCT in the Cooper and Cooper S. Even though it shifts quicker than an automatic and promises better fuel economy, the dual-clutch transmission is heavier. In terms of reliability, the torque-converter automatic comes on top thanks to the know-how of Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd.

Because the United States prefers two pedals even in sports cars such as the Toyota 86, MINI plans to eliminate the manual option in a handful of models. On the upside, the BMW mothership remains loyal to the manual in the next generation of the M3 and M4. If you were wondering, the compact executive sedan and coupe will also be offered with M xDrive.

At the present moment, the most affordable MINI in the U.S. of A. is the Oxford Edition three-door hatchback. Priced at $19,750 excluding the $850 destination charge, the Oxford Edition is also available in five-door hatchback flavor. At the other end of the spectrum, the JCW Countryman All4 is $46,400 in this part of the world.

Given the poor reliability record, lack of ingenuity, and substandard after-sales services, does it come as a surprise MINI isn’t doing all that well in terms of sales? MINI was down 2.8 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, selling 361,531 vehicles worldwide. In the United States, sales dropped from 47,102 in 2017 to 43,684 vehicles in 2018.

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