• Mar 2nd 2009 at 4:34PM
  • 11
Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 MINI Cooper S Convertible

Despite the overall weak forecast for automobile sales in 2009 in the United Sates and abroad, MINI USA head Jim McDowell is expecting increased sales for his diminutive brand; higher even than record sales of 54,077 posted in 2008, which was an increase of nearly 30% over '07. McDowell points to things like a brand-new convertible model finally hitting the sales floor in late March, increased traffic at the brand's website and the fact that all but one MINI dealership in the U.S. were profitable last year.

This promise of profitability has 13 new dealerships hoping to come online in the U.S. by March of 2010. More locations should translate into more units sold, making 2009 – the 50th anniversary of the iconic original MINI design – another banner year for BMW's smallest brand.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why are Mini sales increasing while sales of virtually all other brands are decreasing?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I have a MINI, first off, but here are my observations:

        Price any new car, and compare the standard equipment of the MINI to those of the other cars, then add on the options needed to equal the MINI's standard equipment, and invariably, most every such car ends up costing more than a MINI. I'm talking of such cars as the Fit, Matrix, Mazda 3, Astra, etc... They all end up costing much more, and giving less in terms of equipment and enjoyment. The only exceptions I can think of are cars like the Accent, Scion xA, or Aveo, but you can't really compare those!

        Take that, together with the fact that MINI does nearly everything better than the others (handling, steering, brakes, transmission, front seat comfort, fuel-economy, fun-factor, etc..., etc...), and you soon conclude that at this moment, there are no viable competitors to the MINI in the North American market.

        I would probably be obliged to buy another one if I were shopping today. All the other car alternatives I've tried have been highly disappointing compared with my 4 year old MINI -- and cost as much or more.

        So, unless they jack up the prices a lot, I can see why MINI sales will only rise. The only impediment is that there are still many people who can't get over their SUV mentality and so they would never consider such a car. Their loss!

        I am always looking for viable alternatives. I can't find a single one!
      • 6 Years Ago
      What? These people are out of their minds. They looked at a curve and extrapolated the next point, failing to realize 1) that the mini fad is almost over and 2) that the economy stinks (seriously, who cannot see that at this point in time).

        • 6 Years Ago
        You're the doofus!

        This "MINI Fad" of yours has lasted nearly 7 years. That's not a fad, nor can you name a single other car that has enjoyed such sustained enthusiasm for so long. Enthusiasm for new models usually lasts 6 months or so. Have you not seen the statistics for "would-be repeat purchasers" for this car, or the resale value?

        Which other car can make the same claims?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm interested in knowing which dealership wasn't profitable just so I can go there and test drive a MINI for no reason.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I Iove these lil cars...
      • 6 Years Ago
      This Mini is a great small vehicle. This is one company that didn't equate small cars with cheap cars. Great drive trains and fully independent suspensions such as this has should be the norm for small cars. It's frustrating that American brands can't get a clue, even when a vehicle as successful as the Mini demonstrates what people want and are willing to pay for. And note, it doesn't need 4 doors. The Chevy Beat had potential, but GMs decision to outright veto what consumers voted for and create the Spark 4 door lacking any real horsepower shows that GM is without a clue.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Its impressive how all the German brands are doing so well despite the rest of the auto industry. Quite impressive, indeed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just bought one and could only get 2 dealers to discount. One said they'd take $500 off the other $1000. They were so happy to have inventory instead of ordering every car that they refused to discount.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Did a bunch of girls just turn 16?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes daddy's girl just turn 16 and they already pre order Mini long time ago.
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