Even as the rest of the industry--including its parent company, BMW--contracts, Mini is getting ready to expand with 34 new dealerships across the country. The new outlets will bring the total up to 120 dealerships by an expected date of 2012, up from the 86 dealers Mini has in the U.S. today.

Bigger cities and markets completely new to Mini are the focus for the expansion, which should allow the brand to better capitalize on new sales. “Starting in 2011, our aim is to raise Mini sales by a double-digit percentage compared with last year’s total of 54,077 cars delivered and this will correspond with a substantial expansion of our network coverage," said Mini’s U.S. chief Jim McDowell.

That goal doesn't indicate that demand is currently at those levels, however--merely that Mini hopes to push demand to double-digit growth from 2011. That's a big gamble, giving the economy less than years to recover to a position of growth. However, with a slew of exciting new models in the works Mini may just achieve that goal.

These include a brand new crossover, which has been spied testing in prototype form for several months now, as well as a new coupe and roadster, both of which were confirmed earlier this month and are set to appear in concept form at the upcoming 2009 Frankfurt auto show.

As for the actual dealerships, McDowell said that they will be going into secondary markets where Mini ownership is high. Mini even plans to take over some closed and vacant dealerships caused by General Motors' and Chrysler's rejection of dealer franchises during bankruptcy.

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