2009 MINI prices will go up, diesel Cooper being looked at for U.S.

No matter how high fuel-prices go, MINI Cooper sales will fade a way this summer. According to Jim McDowell, vice president of MINI, all 82 U.S. dealers are out of supply and will mostly be selling preordered units for the rest of 2008.

"For the last three months, we were selling from inventory. There’s no way July can be as good," McDowell said.

McDowell said that 81 percent of the cars delivered this month were those that consumers have previously configured and ordered. MINI’s May sales were up 52.8 percent while April sales were up 39.4 percent. In June, MINI sales were up 24.8 percent to 5,211 units.

For the first half of 2008 MINI sales were up a total 33.6 percent to 26,400 units. MINI will boost U.S. production by only 2,000 to 3,000 units for the rest of 2008.

McDowell also said that MINI plans on adding 13 stores by 2011. Prices for 2009 models will increase but some safety features will become standard on all models. A diesel MINI is being looked at for the U.S. but won’t be offered until it can be sold in all 50 states.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)