Well that was fast. After going on sale in March, Mini has already axed it Clubman-based commercial van, the Mini Clubvan. The kicker? Only 50 have been reportedly sold. That's going to be one rare Mini.
The Mini Clubvan was launched as-planned earlier this year, reports Green Car Reports, but was dropped after "around 50" were sold
because of low (no) demand, and the chicken tax, which is a 25-percent tax on light trucks and commercial vehicles. Despite the fact that the Clubvan is really just a Mini Clubman without rear seats, its panel 'windows' and 30.3 cubic feet of cargo room (among other things) qualify the U.K.-built Mini as a commercial vehicle in the eyes of the federal government.
The Mini Clubvan's rivals, like the Turkish-built Ford Transit Connect, skirt the chicken tax by being imported to the U.S. with rear seats, seatbelts and windows, and removing them once they make it on shore, a loophole that Mini could've conceivably performed with its van.
We're willing to bet the Mini's relatively high $26,000 price tag (about $3000 more than a Transit Connect and over $5000 more than the 2013 Nissan NV200 compact van), small cargo area, and lack of consumer awareness ultimately did the Clubvan in. With all Clubvan's powered by the Mini Cooper's 121-hp 1.6-liter I-4, the lack of a more powerful engine might not have helped matters much either.
As for those who wanted a Mini Clubvan but never got the chance, it's time to fire up Auto Trader or eBay Motors – we found only one for sale nationwide.
Source: Green Car Reports