Sales of the Cowley-built Mini in the UK have taken a massive leap over the last year.

Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 1,397 cars were sold last month compared to 753 in August 2010, a rise of more than 85 per cent.

Mini spokesman Angela Stangroom said: “Mini enjoyed strong sales in August largely driven by good performances from the Clubman Hampton special edition and the Countryman which of course was not launched until October last year.”

Nationally, sales of new cars rose for the first time since June 2010 with 59,346 finding owners.

But experts are still warning that the market remains challenging, SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: “August represents a relatively small share of the new car market and the September new 61-plate registrations will be far more important for vehicle manufacturers and franchised dealers.

“Consumers are nervous about the future, but with the industry offering unprecedented improvements in fuel economy, competitive finance offers and a wide variety of new models, buyers will find there is something to suit every taste and pocket.”