While production will be boosted for the U.S., even the additional 2,000 to 3,000 units earmarked for this purpose will not be enough to supply the hungry market. The Mini plant in Oxford, England, is currently running three shifts, seven days a week and builds about 800 cars a day for 80 markets, reports Automotive News.
Mini has several plans in place to help meet the increase in demand. Jim McDowell, vice president of Mini, revealed that the current dealership network will expand by 13 stores for a total of 95 by 2011. He also confirmed that base prices for some 2009 models will increase but dynamic stability control will be made standard on all models. The Mini Cooper hardtop goes from $18,700 to $19,200, while the Cooper S hardtop price rises from $21,850 to $22,600; Cooper Clubman and Clubman S models get a $250 price increase to $20,850.
Additionally, a diesel Mini is being considered for the North American market, as is the possibility of building the Mini in countries that are more viable and less expensive than England in order to bring costs down and increase supply. The Mini Cooper D (pictured) averages more than 50mpg (4.7L/100km) on the highway but the vehicle won’t be launched Stateside until it can be sold in all 50 states.