COWLEY: UK Mini sales rose slightly in 2012, latest figures have revealed.

Statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show 51,324 cars were sold during the course of the year, 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 car market in 2012.

December was a particularly strong month with 4,499 cars leaving forecourts, compared to 4,278 during the previous year which was enough to make the car the seventh best selling vehicle in the UK, although the Mini did not feature during the Top 10 best sellers of the year.

Nationally, new car registrations rose by 5.3 per cent to 2,044,609 units, a four-year high.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: “Boosted by strong consumer demand, the market grew at its fastest rate for 11 years with innovative, fuel-efficient cars keeping buyers in showrooms. Looking ahead to 2013, we anticipate the market will hold firm, with manufacturers and dealers working hard to deliver quality and value to motorists.”