The European branch of Automotive News is reporting that MINI’s Dr. Kay Segler admitted to plans to scale back MINI’s sales operations in Europe due to the current sovereign debt crisis. That will mean a reduction in the number of MINI dealerships present in certain markets. However, drops in demand in Europe appear to be more than made up for with record sales in both the USA and Asian markets such as China — who saw a 51% increase in sales last year in that country alone. The USA remains MINI’s largest market, with a record sales year in 2011 and a growing lineup of model variants designed to appeal to an even broader group of MINI buyers.

Concordantly, MINI will be further expanding its dealer presence in both the USA and Asian markets. From Dr. Kay Segler:

“We will expand our retail network in China, Korea and the United States. We will be reducing the number in markets such as Spain and Italy since some dealers are running out of steam. But we remain optimistic even in these countries.”

So it would appear that in terms of MINI presence, Europe’s loss is the world’s gain. However, it also appears that this will simply be a redistribution of current production capacity, as MINI has not taken any steps to expand its manufacturing capacity. Automotive News puts that capacity at 400,000 cars annually between MINI Plant Oxford and the Magna Steyr facility in Austria where the Countryman is built. So while MINI may not be producing more cars, they’re taking steps to court more buyers where they’re seeing the most growth.