Mini celebrates 10-year anniversary of U.S. presence

March 26, 2012 12:00 AM

In 2002, small cars were laughable to most Americans, and Mini's decision to enter the U.S. market seemed a terrible idea. However, ten years later, the British car company is thriving, as drivers have embraced smaller cars and their fuel economy.

The national average gallon of gas is fast approaching the $4 mark, and has been high for some time, driving consumers to get behind the wheel of more fuel-efficient vehicles. SUVs and other gas-guzzlers are still pretty popular, but the gap between larger vehicles and more economic rides has narrowed substantially in the past decade, creating the perfect equation for Mini's success.

"Mini launched in the U.S. during the time when gas was cheap and large trucks and SUVs ruled the road," said Jim McDowell, vice president of Mini USA. "Many thought the brand would be a one-hit wonder, and we are extremely proud that we were able to surprise some of the toughest critics, and at times, even ourselves."

The car company started out offering just one model in the states, and now it boasts six unique cars in its American lineup. The average fuel economy of the fleet is roughly 30 miles per gallon, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Getting regular car maintenance and oil changes can help Mini drivers maintain their cars' efficiency.

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