MINI USA Vice President Jim McDowell spoke to reporters and editors at the Automotive News about the new MINI Coupé Concept vehicle. Mr. McDowell believes MINI has "a good idea", and wants "to get people's reaction to it." He predicts a "great response" and, if so, he thinks it will be produced. Jim believes the Coupé Concept "will attract a younger, higher fraction of male purchasers" and views it as a "pretty radical Mini." As for the Crossover, now scheduled for a 2011 debut, Mr. McDowell believes it will replace Ford Explorers in people's garages.
Jim also told the gathering MINI expects to have 120 dealers by 2012 and has targeted 300 sales per year per dealer as a minimum. Interestingly, BMW today said MINI sold 5,111 cars in the U.S. in August, down 6.5 percent from August 2005. For the first eight months, Mini sold 30,868 vehicles in the U.S., down 16.4 percent from the same eight months of 2008.