Mini celebrates 10 years in the U.S.

By Editors on March 23, 2012 1:49 PM

This week, Mini marks a decade of success since returning to the American market in 2002. During that time, the automaker has set itself apart from the competitive crowd with a selection of intriguing variations on the original Mini Hardtop platform and an equally intriguing mix of clever and engaging advertising and promotional efforts. Launched in the San Francisco Bay area, the Mini franchise has grown from 66 original dealers to 112 today, and the automaker expects that number to reach 125 within the next 24 months. Coming off of its best year ever here in 2011 when sales reached 57,511 units, Mini is on pace to handily exceed that figure in 2012.

Today, the Mini model mix has expanded to include six vehicles -- the Hardtop, Convertible, Clubman, Countryman, Coupe and Roadster -- each with a Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works iteration and unique personalization potential that has become a hallmark of the brand. By the end of the decade, at least three more models, including a hybrid, also will make their debut.

"MINI launched in the U.S. during the time when gas was cheap and large trucks and SUVs ruled the road," said Jim McDowell, Vice President MINI USA. "Many thought the brand would be a one-hit wonder, and we are extremely proud that we were able to surprise some the toughest critics, and at times, even ourselves." Mini-branded vehicles currently account for 20 percent of the U.S. sales total of its parent company, the BMW Group.