Mini forecasts sales increase for 2009

Thanks to healthy demand for its small, sprightly coupes and convertibles, as well as plans for its upcoming Crossman off-roader, Mini says that it expects to see an increase in sales next year, despite a generally dismal outlook expected by most industry analysts. Mini is aiming for a 1 percent increase in sales this year.

"We will continue to raise sales in 2009 regardless of the global sales crisis," Mini marketing director Wolfgang Armbrecht told German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

Mini's sales tanked 20.8 percent in November - still a smaller drop than many automakers. The company's sales remain up 7.6 percent over last year's figures, however, due in part to the extended-length Clubman model introduced for 2008.

Mini had sold 217,400 vehicles worldwide at the end of November, meaning that it's not far from reaching the total sum of 222,900 vehicles sold worldwide in all of 2007.