No new MINIs for '08? Manufacturers tapped, dealers sold out

Click above for a gallery of the 2008 MINI Cooper S.

If you were planning on hitting one of the 82 U.S. MINI dealers to get your hands on a fuel-efficient Cooper or Clubman, it looks like you'll need to look at plan B. Skyrocketing fuel prices has lifted demand of the little British icons to the point that, with the except of pre-orders, all 2008 models are pretty much sold out. The MINI's cute looks and thrifty petrol-sipping discipline have made the retro hatch more attractive than ever. Year over year sales increases of 39%, 52%, and 24% from April-June have all but wiped clean the MINI's already tight inventory.

Although sales really picked up in April, the MINI has been on fire all year, as the 26,400 MINIs sold in the first half of 2008 represents a 33.6% increase over the same sales period in 2007. And thanks to the MINI's already tight world-wide demand, the BMW-owned automaker can only up US shipments by 2-3k units for the rest of the year.

Team MINI wants to keep its new-found fortune coming, too, as it plans to increase its dealer count to 95 stores by 2011. The British automaker will also introduce a diesel MINI once it can pass emissions in all 50 states.

[Source: Green Fuel Forecast]

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