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MINI to Expand U.S. Dealer Network by 20 Percent

Niche brand forecasting a double-digit percent growth in sales

 |  Jun 23 2009, 2:34 PM

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MINI has recently rejuvenated its product lineup, launching second-generation versions of its most popular models, while introducing the Clubman. Sales have been good, despite the poor economy, and so MINI will be expanding its U.S. dealership network significantly in order to keep up with the demand that is expected to increase further still.

In total, MINI will increase its number of dealerships by 17 for a total of 100. Those numbers may not sound like much, but it is a significant 20 percent increase.

The new dealerships will go up over the next 18 months and are schedule to be built in areas that do not currently have a MINI dealer. The first new dealer to open will be MINI of Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama.

“We are pleased to be in a position to dramatically increase our U.S. dealerships,” said MINI USA Vice President Jim McDowell at a meeting in New York. “I have often said that the world is becoming more MINI every day, and I believe that that sentiment is true, now more than ever, as consumer tastes shift decidedly to cars that offer tremendous value. Our cars are not only fuel efficient, and offer great value, but they also provide a fun and dynamic motoring experience and are packed with personality.”

McDowell also said that starting in 2011, MINI expects to begin posting a percentage sales growth in the double-digit range. Last year the brand moved 54,077 units.

And while the expansion of the MINI network to new regions will be a part of the growth, it will also be assisted by new models. MINI does plan to bring a crossover to market in the near future, and there have been persistent rumors of a small city car (possibly electric) and either a sportscar or ‘GTI’ model.

Follow the jump for a full list of all the new MINI retailer locations:

PRESS RELEASE

MINI USA TO EXPAND U.S. DEALERSHIPS BY 20 PERCENT TO SUPPORT DOUBLE DIGIT SALES GROWTH TARGETS

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – June 22, 2009… MINI USA has confirmed its intention to expand its 83-strong American dealer network by 20 percent during the next 18 months to a total of 100 outlets across the country.

Most of the additional 17 MINI dealerships will be located in cities or areas that will be new markets for the brand.

Speaking at a New York City meeting, MINI USA Vice President Jim McDowell revealed: “Starting in 2011, our aim is to raise MINI sales by a ‘double-digit’ percentage compared with last year’s total of 54,077 cars delivered and this will correspond with a substantial expansion of our network coverage.

“We are celebrating a major landmark for MINI this year, its 50th Birthday, and we are pleased to announce plans for another significant milestone for the brand – the development of our national dealer network to 100 outlets,” he added.

“We are pleased to be in a position to dramatically increase our U.S. dealerships. I have often said that the world is becoming more MINI every day, and I believe that that sentiment is true, now more than ever, as consumer tastes shift decidedly to cars that offer tremendous value. Our cars are not only fuel efficient, and offer great value, but they also provide a fun and dynamic motoring experience and are packed with personality.”

The first of the new dealers to become operational this year will be MINI of Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama. Speaking of the dealership’s appointment to the MINI USA network, General Manager Mark Gerloff said: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to represent such a stylish and iconic brand in Alabama, and be given the opportunity to bring the unique attributes and heritage of MINI to our customers.”

In addition to Birmingham, Alabama, MINI will open dealerships in the following cities: Pensacola, Florida; Alexandria, Virginia; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; Fort Myers, Florida; El Paso, Texas; Ontario, California; Louisville, Kentucky; Raleigh, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; Loveland, Colorado; Madison, Wisconsin; Mount Laurel, New Jersey; Allentown, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California and Tempe, Arizona.

Industry sales in the US this year have recorded a 37 percent decline through May, but MINI continues to outperform its competition and its market share continues to increase despite a sales decline over 2008.