MotoringFile has learned that several issues will conspire to give the MINI Clubman limited availability in the US for the 2008 model year.

Based on an internal report last summer, the BMW Group has forecasted Italy to be the largest Clubman market in the world based on what each market thought they could sell through. In addition to this, we’ve learned that MINI USA has specifically planned for a lower volume of 2008 R55s to keep the car relatively exclusive.

It’s also worth remembering that the BMW Group doesn’t typically make the same kind of profit on a MINI sold in the US as it does the identical car sold in Europe. Therefore it’s probably not a terrible idea to occasionally limit the MINI and models like the Clubman.

Expect US dealers to get as little as four Clubman a month for the first few months of US production and for that number to grow gradually over the year. So if you’re in the US and you don’t have your order in yet, time is not on your side.