Mini counts on U.S., Asia to boost sales; scales back in Europe

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  1. Nathan

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    BMW's Mini brand will expand its sales network in the United States and Asia but will reduce the number of dealerships in European countries hit by the sovereign debt crisis, the brand's boss Kay Segler told Automotive News Europe.

    Mini will increase its dealerships as its expands its product lineup and builds on record global sales achieved last year, Segler said.

    "We will expand our retail network in China, Korea and the United States," he said. "We will be reducing the number in markets such as Spain and Italy since some dealers are running out of steam. But we remain optimistic even in these countries."

    Mini currently has about 1,500 dealerships around the world. The brand posted its best ever global sales of 285,060 cars last year, up 21.7 percent from 2010. "In 2012 we aim to grow at a steady, sustainable rate," Segler said.

    He expects Mini sales to continue to grow this year in the United States, the brand's largest single market where it sold 57,511 models last year. Mini is expanding its U.S. dealer network to 125 locations from 110.

    In China, Mini sales grew 51 percent to 17,650 last year. "This trend is expected to continue," Segler said.

    In the last few years, Mini has expanded its lineup, which was previously only a hatchback, to include an SUV, roadster, coupe and cabriolet. Four additional model variants are on the way. "Over the medium term, we aim to expand our family from six models to 10," Segler said.

    He said Mini does not need an additional production location, ending speculation that Mini might be interested in Mitsubishi's Nedcar plant in the Netherlands, which will stop production at the end of the year.

    Mini has a production capacity of about 400,000 units – 300, 000 in its plant in Oxford, England, and 100,000 at coachbuilder Magna Steyr's factory in Graz, Austria.



    Source - http://www.autonews.com/article/20120218/ANE/120219871#ixzz1mwAY3d8N
     

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