A total of 15,864 cars were bought in more than 100 countries around the world in January with 1,800 sales in China, a leap of 20.3 per cent. China is now the Mini’s fourth largest market after the United States, UK and Germany.

Bosses say the introduction of the new Paceman model should also boost sales figures this year.

The BMW group as a whole saw sales rise by 9.9 per cent to 123,276.