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Mini Cooper SE: 80 Percent of Buyers of the EV Are New to the Brand

The Cooper SE, the first all-electric model from BMW Group manufacturer Mini, has been on the market for over a year now. Sales have been encouraging for the British company, which says it is hitting its targets so far.

The automaker told us that in the United States, it is on the verge of selling the 3,000 units it targeted to sell, this over the last 18 months. The objectives for the next year are similar, though Mini gave us no specific figures. We surmise the targets could be 3,000 units in the next 12 months, 4,000 in the next 18, or something close to that. Clearly, sales of the Cooper SE are going well, or at least on par with what the company hoped. In fact, the company believes that the next year will be even better than the last for the model in terms of sales.

In addition, we made some other interesting discoveries while talking to Patrick McKenna, head of marketing and communications for Mini USA. Most striking was his revelation that 80 percent of Cooper SE buyers are new to the company.

That's the kind of figure any automaker dreams of achieving with a new model. Conquest sales represent gains, and what allow a manufacturer to grow its client base and market share.

Mini Cooper SE, front grille
Photo: V.Aubé
Mini Cooper SE, front grille

Taking the discussion a step further, we learned some other interesting things, including that for 80 percent of buyers, their Mini is a complement to other vehicles owned by their household.

This is an important detail, because it explains why the company is not worried about the shorter range offered by the SE (it’s estimated at 183 km for 2022). Patrick McKenna told us that for longer trips, families will rely on another vehicle. “You could compare it to the fact that the Mini doesn't offer a third row of seats. The family already has an SUV for that. Their Mini SE, it's there for fun.”

We also learned that, when the model was conceived, buyer studies revealed that for many potential owners, their average commute was far less than the range offered. That's why the company went down this path.

The approach is understandable. However, it’s also true that the Cooper SE would be an even more attractive proposition with, say, double the range it currently offers.

Mini Cooper SE, three-quarters rear
Photo: V.Aubé
Mini Cooper SE, three-quarters rear

There was one last detail we took from our discussion: More than half of the Mini Cooper SEs the brand sells are bought in California, where government EV incentives are in place and significant, and where consumers are ready to go electric.

Our hosts did not have figures on hand for the Canadian market, but we'll try to get them and will share them with you here when we succeed. We can probably guess, however, in which provinces the Cooper SE sells the best. Just look at which ones offer EV incentives.

Mini Cooper SE, front
Photo: V.Aubé
Mini Cooper SE, front