MINI Clubvan Dropped From U.S. Market

In a statement released earlier this week by a MINI spokeswoman, the company has confirmed that the MINI Clubvan which debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show and was designed to compete with commercial rivals such as the Ford Transit Connect will be dropped from U.S showrooms due to slow sales and pressure from established domestic rivals such as the Ford Transit Connect commercial van. When MINI first introduced the Clubvan, it was designed to give buyers a premium alternative to established rivals such as the fore-mentioned Transit Connect while its small size promised better maneuverability in tight city streets. Unfortunately these two traits were not enough to not only make it stand out against the established competition here in this country, but it also fell victim to the effects of the long running “Chicken Tax” which adds a 25 percent tariff on any commercial vehicle that is imported to the U.S. Nathalie Bauers MINI’s Communications Manager, revealed the extent of the Clubvan’s failure by stating that the Clubvan only achieved a dismal 50 sales during its brief period here in the United States.

Performance for the Clubvan came from a naturally aspirated 1.6 liter four cylinder engine borrowed from the base Clubman which was good for a meager 121 horsepower and could be mated to either a six speed manual gearbox or a six speed automatic. This allowed the Clubvan to haul 826 pounds of cargo, which is not bad for a vehicle of its size but nowhere near the 1600 lb rating wielded by the bigger Transit Connect. However despite this setback, the MINI Clubvan is still quite popular with commercial buyers in its home European market due to extensive tax breaks as well as its ability to navigate narrow roads which are a common sight throughout the European continent.

Author: Carl Malek

Carl Malek is Autosavant’s resident German car fanatic and follower of all things General Motors. Carl first entered the world of automotive journalism as a freelance photographer during his freshman year of college before making the switch to automotive writing several years later. Carl developed an interest in cars at an early age, which helped him overcome the challenges of a learning disability in mathematics. In addition to writing for Autosavant community, Carl also contributes to many car forums and enjoys attending automotive events in the Metro Detroit area with his family. Carl’s message for others with learning disorders is to believe in yourself, be persistent, and face all challenges head on.

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2 Comments

  1. I saw one yesterday (7/23/13), a parts chaser for the local Mini dealership.
    I wonder if any of them are anything else…

  2. I have never see one outside of auto shows or in online photos. Seemed like kind of a pointless product, and man, 50 sales is pathetic!

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