THE Cowley-built Mini has had its best sales in the UK since its launch 11 years ago.

Statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show 51,324 cars were sold during the course of the 2012, compared to 50,138 in 2011, a rise of 2.37 per cent.

Overall, the Mini claimed a 2.51 per cent share of the UK market in 2012 making it the most successful year for the car since it was launched in July 2001.

Tim Abbott, managing director of Mini parent firm BMW Group UK, said: “Mini achieved record UK sales thanks to strong performances from all models including the Coupé and Roadster.

“The combination of Mini’s brand image and the expanding product portfolio continues to attract new customers.”