Mini will launch two more electric models, to join its iconic and now electric Mini Cooper SE and the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Countryman as it realigns its brand to focus more on the lucrative Chinese market.
A “completely electrified” range, including two new all-electric crossovers – one a “compact” crossover, another branded a “small car” – will form the basis of its “power of choice” strategy, the British brand said on Wednesday.
Mini added that it will still offer petrol and diesel engines alongside its low and zero emissions driving options, to meet the need of target groups and regions whose “mobility needs” it says are not yet met by all-electric vehicles.
“We are pursuing the ‘Power of Choice’ approach followed by the BMW Group through our broad range of advanced petrol and diesel engines, the plug-in hybrid system and all-electric drive, in order to meet the needs and aspirations of our customers throughout the world,” Mini boss Bernd Körber said in a statement.
“This enables us to create the conditions for further growth in global automobile markets.”
Part of this strategy will include a greater focus on the China auto market.
The launch of the electric Mini Cooper SE doubled Mini’s sales of electrified vehicles from five percent to ten percent of new registrations in 2019.
The new focus on China, where it sells 10 per cent of its vehicles, will see Mini move ahead with its plans to produce vehicles in China in collaboration with Great Wall Motors.
The China-made vehicles will be produced from 2023, although no clear timeline was outlined for the launch of the two new electric models. Nor is there any confirmation of when these models might arrive in Australia.
Globally, it has been a success for parent company BMW, which in early October reported that sales of its electric vehicles had driven an 8.6 percent growth in sales despite the pandemic and a sluggish auto market in general.
Electrified vehicle sales (which includes battery electric and PHEVs) grew by 50% for the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same period the year before, said BMW.
This was led primarily by the Mini Cooper SE, 10,000 of which it has delivered to customers since January.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.