Mini to expand U.S. dealer network

Krause hints at Mini crossover vehicle

Ryan Beene

DETROIT — Mini will expand its dealer network in the United States after coming off a record year for sales.

Stefan Krause, BMW AG board member in charge of sales and marketing, said Mini will add 13 U.S. stores by 2010, making a total of 95.

The United States is Mini’s second-largest market behind the United Kingdom, after surpassing former No. 2 Germany in 2007. Krause said Mini sold 42,045 vehicles in the United States in 2007, up 7.3 percent from 2006. About 222,000 Mini vehicles were sold globally last year.

” We initially believed it to be more of a European car, so naturally we were quite surprised to have such great success in the United States,” Krause told reporters today at the auto show.

The United States also will see additional product. The three-door Mini Clubman is scheduled for U.S. launch Feb. 16 and will have a base price of $20,600, not counting shipping.

Krause said the next new Mini will be a crossover. He declined to give specifics but said the yet-to-be named crossover still will be in the small-car segment.

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