WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. --- MINI USA has confirmed its intention to expand its 83-strong American dealer network by 20 percent during the next 18 months to a total of 100 outlets across the country. 

Most of the additional 17 MINI dealerships will be located in cities or areas that will be new markets for the brand. 

Speaking at a New York City meeting, MINI USA Vice President Jim McDowell said: "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." 

The first of the new dealers to become operational this year will be MINI of Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala. MINI will also open dealerships in the following cities: Pensacola, Fla.; Alexandria, Va.; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Wash.; Fort Myers, Fla; El Paso, Texas; Ontario, Calif.; Louisville, Ky.; Raleigh, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Loveland, Colo.; Madison, Wis.; Mount Laurel, N.J.; Allentown, Pa.; San Diego, Calif. and Tempe, Ariz.

To view EPA mpg ratings for 2009 models, go to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/bymake/MINI2009.shtml.