Mini unveiled a redesigned and more upscale convertible at the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday.
Why Japan? That’s easy: Japanese sales are growing at a faster rate than sales in other major markets.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW AG board member for Mini and Rolls-Royce, said Mini sales in Japan rose 29 percent through September to 12,800 cars. Global Mini sales during the same period rose 18 percent, he said.
Schwarzenbauer expects Mini to set a sales record in the Japanese market this year, up from 17,500 in 2014.
“We are seeing more Mini fans -- a lot more people are open to design in Japan and like the looks of Mini,” Schwarzenbauer said.
The U.S. continues to be the largest market for Mini. Schwarzenbauer said he expects U.S. sales of about 65,000 this year, up from 56,112 in 2014.
Other top anticipated markets, in order, are the U.K., with about 62,000 cars, and China, with about 30,000.
Japan’s strong sales aren’t a new phenomenon. In the late 1990s, Japan reigned as Mini’s top market across the globe.