From Autoblog Green, who got the chance to talk to Jim McDowell last week at the LA Auto Show and heard first hand a few of the rumors we’ve been reporting over the past year. Here’s an excerpt:

>Basically, things have changed. In July, the MINI factory in Oxford England was running full tilt to keep up with demand. Since then, the collapse of the financial markets has meant a drop in sales, including MINI sales, across the board and around the world. That means more supply is now available than demand and we could get more MINIs in America if needed. The other issue is the technical one about US certification. That, too, is being addressed. According to McDowell, BMW is working on a Tier 2 Bin 5 compliant version of the MINI D engine. Instead of urea injection for NOx reduction, this would use a lean NOx trap like the Jetta TDI. While McDowell wouldn’t commit to a time-frame, it looks like we may get the MINI D sooner rather than later.

Originally our sources told us to expect the first MINI diesel in the US to come in the form of the Crossover (R60). However with all the above falling into place we could very well see the current MINI Cooper D in the US as soon as 2010 or 2011.

[ MINI Cooper D could arrive in America sooner than we thought ] Autobloggreen.com