The original Mini started off as a small sized iconic car conceptualized by British Motor Corporation in the year 1969. Since the year 1994 Mini Cooper is a fully owned subsidiary of BMW. The popular models of the Mini Cooper include The Mini Hatch/Hardtop, Clubman, Convertible, Coupe and Roadster, England, the Countryman, and Paceman. The brand has also been associated with and won many automobile rallies.
The car was originally called Mini and the performance version of the model was renamed as Mini Cooper following an association with the ace racer John Cooper. The Mini registered a record sales revenue of 182,593 pounds in the year 2016 the highest ever since 2001. The Mini Cooper has been able to successfully carve a niche for itself in the automobile market and also enjoys high brand loyalty. Here is the SWOT analysis of Mini Cooper.
Strengths in the SWOT analysis of Mini Cooper :
Strengths are defined as what each business does best in its gamut of operations which can give it an upper hand over its competitors. The following are the strengths of Mini Cooper:
- Differentiation: Mini Cooper was able to carve a market for itself primarily because of the differentiation it could offer especially in terms of look and styling. The shape of the car and the vibrant colours in which it is sold makes the Mini Cooper recognizable from a distance…
- The backing of BMW: BMW which has always been associated with luxury, quality, and reliability currently own the Mini Cooper.the strong backing of one of the world’s most trusted automakers has proved to be one of the brands’ core strengths.
- Positioning: Mini Cooper is positioned as a fun and economical option for people who wish to experience a luxury car but may not have the means to buy one. This has been able to effectively capture the minds of their target audience which are the youngsters.
- Emotional Value: Just like any other luxury car brand, the Mini Cooper also is associated strongly with an emotional value through its positioning as an affordable luxury car.
- Product Placement: At a time when small cars were struggling to gain a place in the market, the Mini Cooper rose as a star through its successful product placement in the movie Italian Job. The movie which almost had the Mini as a character helped to build a global brand for the car which was slowly losing its sheen in the market.
Weaknesses in the SWOT analysis of Mini Cooper :
Weaknesses are used to refer to areas where the business or the brand needs improvement. Some of the key weaknesses of Mini Cooper are:
- British Styling: Till the very recent years Mini Cooper was seen as a British car since it was very English in its styling and was not favored too highly by the global audience. However, the company has modeled the new design with a more global framework in mind.
- Performance Issue: Mini Cooper has always been more popular for its stylish design and differentiated shape and colors than its performance. Critics have always complained about serious performance issues in the vehicle.
- Limited Global Reach: Mini Cooper is sold through regional distributors. But in comparison to local brands, the reach of Mini Cooper is pretty low and it may not be easy to locate an authorized dealer.
- Poor after sales service: In most emerging markets, cars are purchased by stringently evaluating the availability of spares and ease with which after sales services can be solicited. Mini fails miserably in both these areas.
Opportunities in the SWOT analysis of Mini Cooper :
Opportunities refer to those avenues in the environment that surrounds the business on which it can capitalize to increase its returns. Some of the opportunities include:
- Scope for penetration in emerging economies: Like in the case of most other industries, the automakers are also concentrating on emerging economies like India and China. The millionaires in China are expected to grow annually at a rate of 10 % for the next three years. The market penetration of luxury cars in India is as low as 11 %.Both these figures indicate a huge opportunity for luxury car makers.
- Car for everyone: The Mini Cooper is a car with a personality for itself and backed by a differentiated design and functionalities. This can be used to market the vehicle effectively as a car for everyone.
- Change of trends: The growing number of dual-income households, the increase in the need for smart vehicle options and the focus on driving comfort for which people feel that an additional premium can be paid are all opportunities for Mini Cooper.
Threats in the SWOT analysis of Mini Cooper :
Threats are those factors in the environment which can be detrimental to the growth of the business. Some of the threats include:
- Technology: Some of the emerging technology areas like robot-driven cars, alternate energy vehicles, interconnected traffic and safety systems etc may not work in sync with the image that Mini Cooper has carved for itself which may work towards diluting the brand persona of the car.
- Over-dependence of personality: Cars like Mini Cooper and its nearest rival Volkswagen Beetle rely entirely upon their brand personality and the emotional branding that they have been able to weave around themselves. This means that a change of technology or market will have to be centered on this image which can be dangerous.