BMW group's Mini USA operation has sold its 100,000th car since the launch in March 2002, two years ahead of initial forecasts.

The sales target set at the launch of the Mini model line in 2002 was 20,000 a year. In 2004, the importer sold 36,032 cars.

Mini launched in the US with 70 dealerships but this has since been expanded to 80 nationwide. The top three regional markets are New York metropolitan, South Florida and California.

Over 150 Minis are soon to descend on Las Vegas to drive in convoy through the city, over the Hoover Dam and far, far into the Red Rock Canyon.

The 'Mini Vacation in Vegas' is organised by the Nevada owners club, and the first event last year attracted cars from all over the US.

* The Mini line has just been launched in South Korea bringing the total number of markets to over 70 countries. Argentina, Bulgaria and Venezuela were added during 2004, the year the 500,000th car left the Oxford production line.