Mini boss Kay Segler told Automotive News Europe that the Mini brand will expand its sales network in the U.S. and Asia but will cut the number of dealerships in countries in Europe that were affected by the sovereign debt crisis. Segler said that Mini’s dealerships will grow in number as it adds to its product lineup and improves on worldwide sales achieved in 2010.
He said that the company’s retail network will be expanded in China, Korea and the U.S. while those in markets like Spain and Italy will have their networks reduced “since some dealers are running out of steam.”
He clarified though that the company is still “optimistic “in these countries. Currently, Mini has about 1,500 dealerships worldwide. It was able to post its best ever global sales of 285,060 cars in 2011.
This is 21.7% higher than in 2010. Segler said that it hopes that in 2012, its growth will be at “a steady, sustainable rate." He predicts that Mini sales will continue to increase this year in the U.S., the brand's biggest single market where 57,511 models were sold in 2011.
Mini plans to expand the number of dealers in the U.S. from 110 to 125 locations. Mini sales in China increased by 51% to 17,650 last year. Segler said that the trend is expected to continue.
In the past few years, Mini expanded its lineup to add an SUV, roadster, coupe and cabriolet to the hatchback. Four more model versions are coming. Segler said that it seeks to expand the family from six to 10 models over the medium term.