Steane Klose | Mar 4, 2009

BMW's MINI brand is poised to buck the automotive trend this year, according to MINI USA CEO Jim McDowell.

For most manufacturers, breaking even in the current climate would be a godsend, but MINI may weather the storm better than most if these predictions prove true.

MINI managed a 30 percent sales increase in 2008 over 2007, posting a record sales figure of 54,077 units at the end of last year. In addition, all but one of MINI's US dealerships were profitable last year - impressive given the poor state of the economy.

McDowell said that an all-new convertible model increased traffic to the MINI website, the new model partly accounting for the brand's strength in 2008.

mini_cooper

More dealerships and a new convertible model arriving in late March should translate into further success for the brand this year, the 50th since design-genius Alec Issigonis penned that first iconic Morris Mini Minor.

With all the doom and gloom in the air these days, it's refreshing to hear of a brand doing well for a change.

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