Mini USA's sales rose 4.3 percent in 2015. That trailed the industry's 5.7 percent but represented an improvement over the brand's 1 percent gain in 2013 and its 16 percent drop in 2014.
And with better collaboration with the manufacturer and a fresh lineup, it will stay that way, says Michael Vadasz, chairman of the Mini Dealer Council.
Vadasz owns Otto's Mini in Exton, Pa., northwest of Philadelphia.
He attributes the brand's stability to the rollout of the 2016 Mini Cooper hardtop and the addition of a four-door hardtop. It has "opened up the hardtop buyers by half," Vadasz said. "Anyone who was afraid of having a two-door coupe now had the option of a four-door hardtop."
If total vehicle sales plateau or decline, Vadasz says the majority of Mini dealers are leaning on their F&I departments for profit. Because Mini's sales volume has grown only slightly over the past few years, the brand has had low service volume, Vadasz said. He says most dealers are equipped for and would welcome more service.
Mini dealers have an updated lineup that will fit into the lifestyles of an important part of their demographic: car buyers who are becoming parents.
Among former owners who left Mini, Vadasz says that 40 percent said they still loved their cars, but because of a growing family or a changed situation, they thought that Mini didn't have a large enough vehicle for them.
Now Vadasz says that's not the case. With the 2016 Clubman and 2017 Countryman, Mini can offer a vehicle to both its current consumers and new ones.