Mini makes a decidedly male turn in China

The women-friendly brand is giving its cars masculine connotations to appeal to men


HOW much do women in China love BMW's Mini? Perhaps a bit too much for Mini's comfort.

Almost 80 per cent of Mini owners in China are women, the highest level among any car brand, JD Power & Associates estimates. Now, the company is taking pains to give its cars more masculine connotations. Hence the pool table in the Shanghai showroom, and the all-Mini road trip the company recently organised to Tibet.

"You don't want to tip into being a girlie car," Sean Green, head of Mini's China business, said in Beijing last week. "Not only do you alienate the men, you actually alienate a lot of women, because a lot of women won't want to buy a feminine brand."

The strategy helps show the variety of...

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