Mini USA has said it will expand its 83-strong American dealer network by 20% during the next 18 months to 100 outlets nationwide.

Most new dealerships will be in cities or areas that are new markets for the brand.

Speaking in New York, 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. We are pleased to be in a position to dramatically increase our US dealerships."

The first of the new dealers to become operational this year will be Mini of Birmingham in Alabama. Its seneral manager Mark Gerloff said: "I am delighted to be given the opportunity to represent such a stylish and iconic brand in Alabama, and be given the opportunity to bring the unique attributes and heritage of Mini to our customers."

In addition to Birmingham, the BMW-owned brand will also open dealerships in Pensacola, Florida; Alexandria, Virginia; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; Fort Myers, Florida; El Paso, Texas; Ontario, California; Louisville, Kentucky; Raleigh, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; Loveland, Colorado; Madison, Wisconsin; Mount Laurel, New Jersey; Allentown, Pennsylvania; San Diego, California and Tempe, Arizona.

Auto sales in the US so far this year have declined 37% year on year but Mini has outperformed the market and its market share continues to increase despite a sales decline over 2008.