Automotive News is reporting that BMW North America and MINI USA will be reducing it’s staff by around 100 employees and turning down 44,000 cars (it’s not clear how many if any of that will be MINIs) that were allocated for the North American market. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

>O’Donnell has ordered his department heads to look at cutting costs. They were to have reported back to him by the end of last week. Marketing will be a key area for slashing expenses. O’Donnell said it is wrong “to push in a market that is declining.”

>O’Donnell expects BMW Group — which includes Rolls-Royce and Mini — to suffer a U.S. sales decline of 10 percent this year.

>Overall U.S. sales of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce totaled 336,265 units last year. Within that total, the BMW brand accounted for 293,795 units.

>”We’ll be down maybe a little bit less than the marketplace, about 10 percent down — which I am fine with,” O’Donnell said. “I’d rather sell fewer cars than blow them out the door without any profit.”

>Soft BMW brand sales account for the group’s overall downturn. O’Donnell expects Mini sales to approach 50,000 units this year, up from 42,045 in 2007.