The MINI brand has been one of the best investments made by any car company into another brand, and especially for BMW, the MINI has proven to be a quite profitable. In 2008, there were 54,077 MINIs sold, which represents a 30% increase over the previous year.
Jim McDowell, MINI USA CEO, is expecting record sales this year, mostly due to the release of the new convertible MINI Cooper. In a recent webcast, MINI USA stated that 13 new dealerships will be opened in the US within twelve months, mostly due to the fact that all the MINI dealerships in the US were profitable in 2007.
With a huge demand for the MINI E (electric) here in the US and Germany, BMW Group might want to capitalize on that and expend the program beyond the 500 MINI E offered in the U.S.
If I were to predict something this year, it will be the fact that the MINI brand along with the new 7 Series, will help the BMW Group stay afloat and positioned themselves well for 2010.