The first new dealer network, which comes online later this year, will be in Birmingham, Alabama. The next 18 months will see still more openings in urban hotspots like Austin, Texas and Seattle, Washington. For a complete list of new locations, hit the jump to read the press release.

The next 18 months will be huge for BMW's MINI brand. Execs are looking for big sales increases by 2011, and the fuel efficient little car company is adding 17 dealerships to its retail network in that time frame to help get the job done. The additional dealerships will predominantly go to urban areas that don't currently have a MINI presence, bringing the total figure to 100 dealerships in the States.

MINI is looking for a "double digit increase" from 2008's record 54,077 U.S. sales by 2011; a number that is impressive considering the current state of industry sales, but more likely due to the addition of a new model line (Clubman) as much as anything else. With more dealers in the fold, the lofty sales goals ought to be attainable, though, provided the nation's economy improves.
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