The Mini Dominating American Market
The Mini, the quintessentially British car that became a style icon of the 1960s, is now more popular in the United States than in the UK, where it is made. Ian Robertson, a member of the board of BMW, which bought the Mini's operations in 1994 as part of the Rover Group and revived the brand in 2001, said that 45,000 Minis were sold in the US last year, compared with 39,000 in the UK. "The US is now our biggest market," he told the Times at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. After record sales in 2008, Mini held its own in a very challenging market last year, selling 216,500 vehicles, down 6 per cent on the previous year. There are two other new models in the pipeline, a Coupé, with a strongly inclined windscreen and a distinctive bridge-shaped roof, and a two-seater Roadster, with extra short body overhangs, front and rear. The company is also piloting a fleet of 600 electric cars in California, New York, Berlin, London, Paris and Munich.