Perhaps trying to give its new, second generation MINI Copper sales a shot in the arm, MINI announced that they could see the US overtaking the UK as MINI's number one market. At the Detroit Auto Show, MINI of North America vice-president Jim McDowell described the US as being on the fast track. Whatever that means. The US accounted for more than 20% of the 188,000 units moved worldwide. Mini hopes that the recent changes at the Oxford plant will help boost production capacity to 240,000 next year and feels the US will get the lion's share.

Selling the new Cooper and Cooper S alongside the previous generation cabrio Sidewalk, MINI thinks they'll have a strong showing against the competition. And that competition will include newcomers like the Audi A1 for the first time. With the exterior looking almost identical to the current models, it's hard to imagine there will be a huge increase in demand for the new MINI, but the mechanical changes (like switching the S from supercharging to turbocharging) might keep the MINI ahead of the challengers. And especially in the increasingly more fuel-efficiency conscious US, this might mean up-to-40-mpg MINI sales will grow. As long as there are cars in showrooms and dealers don't gouge customers, that is.

[Source: Mini]

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