Andy Hearn, the brand’s UK general manager, said around 67% of Mini customers are female, and he’d like the new variants to bring more balance. Clubman will be marketed as “the other Mini”, aimed at couples and small families requiring more space.
Hearn wants dealers to capture new customers for Clubman, but claimed it was difficult to know which rival cars those customers may come from. When pushed, he conceded that BMW 1-series could be a rival.
Hearn added: “Splitting Mini from the BMW showroom means our dealers now can prove themselves. The network now has its own strong managers and teams who will work for sales.”
Dealers have taken 1,400 forward orders for Clubman ahead of its November launch, which will be backed by TV, online and print marketing.
Hearn said strong demand and limited supply – around 10,000 units are destined for the UK – means dealers will retain their full margin on the car.