How The MINI Cooper Lost Its Cool

MINI was a brand created in the midst of a fuel crisis. But the ultra-small cars designed to provide cheap and easy transportation for Britons in the 1950s and '60s became a cultural phenomenon and created the strong brand identity known around the world today. As more and more consumers opt for sport utility vehicles, the Mini looks to renew interest for a new generation.

The trouble is that bigger is better in America, and MINI's specialty is "small." Sales have fallen from a peak of around 66,000 units in 2013 to less than 44,000 in 2018.

Taking the if-you-can't-beat-them-join-them approach, MINI has beefed up its lineup, and now sells a sport utility known as the Countryman. MINI is also, like many other automakers, betting on electric. The company debuted the Cooper SE in July 2019.

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