Mini's product range is in the midst of a major overhaul, with the core Hardtop range being slowly replaced and a five-door version of that core car due soon.
In the meantime, U.S. sales of the Countryman have been growing in spite of the Mini brand's overall decline. In fact, Countryman sales have been growing faster than the pace of the market, rising 9.8% through the first three-quarters of 2014 as the industry's expanded 5.5%.
On a consistent basis, the Countryman is Mini's best-selling variant in America. How long that will last we don't yet know. In September, for example, the Countryman accounted for 45% of all Mini sales; the Paceman another 5%. For every Coupe, Roadster, Clubman, or Convertible sold last month, Mini sold 1.9 Countrymans. And yes, they do prefer Countrymans, not Countrymen.
Historically speaking, the Countryman produced its highest ever monthly sales in August of this year with 2412 sales. The previous record, 2315 units, was produced in May. Only on 13 occasions in the Countryman's 45-month history have more than 2000 been sold in a single month. Third-quarter volume in 2014 involved two 2100+ sales months, and year-over-year sales jumped 29%.
So we know the Countryman is currently Mini USA's top seller, clearly the profit driver for the brand at the moment. Where does it fit in to the overall market?
The Countryman is America's 141st-best-selling vehicle through the first nine months of 2014. This means it sells in Mercedes-Benz S-Class-like numbers, figures akin to the Mercedes-Benz GL, Audi A6, Buick Regal, and Volvo S60. It sells approximately twice as often as the Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Quest. It also sells about half as often as the Kia Sportage, Nissan Juke, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.