Small cars make big impact on the British best seller list
SMALL cars are taking over the best seller list. Ford’s Fiesta stays the nation’s number one buy, followed by the rival and much older Vauxhall Corsa.
The next class up provides numbers 3,4 and 5 with the Ford Focus, VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra.
The Astra is not where Vauxhall would want it, being outsold by the imported Golf, but most Astras are at least made in England at Ellesmere Port.
Sunderland’s Nissan Qashqai holds sixth place, followed by BMW’s 3 series, VW Polo, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Vauxhall Insignia in tenth spot with 20,481 sales in the first seven months. The No 1 Fiesta sold 67,103.
Diesel power maintains a lead over petrol engines – a reflection on how many cars are being bought by companies, which find diesels cheaper to run. Of the 1.2 million sales, nearly 614,000 had diesel engines, 571,000 had petrol and nearly 14,500 were alternative fuel — mostly electric hybrids. While low in actual numbers (16,705 so far), the AF cars are having big percentage boosts. Demand for petrol cars was also pushed by strong growth in the mini segment which grew 93.4 per cent in the month of July. Sales to date are ahead by 3.5 per cent.
Ford, despite the slow down in sales of the almost obsolete Mondeo, has improved its market share to just over 14 per cent but its rival Vauxhall has fallen back to just over 11 per cent. The registration figures, from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, do not necessarily reflect profitability. High sales can be achieved by tasty discounts.
Companies with big drops include Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin – the latter dropping 116 sales to 549.
Lotus is struggling. In the first seven months, it sold just 99 cars in the UK. Maserati also dipped heavily to 186 sales. Renault, after slashing its model line-up and discount deals, lost 45 per cent of sales to just over 22,000 – making is almost a niche marque. Mitsubishi also posted a 41 per cent slump.
Soaring upswings were enjoyed by resurgent Chrysler/Lancia, Kia, Land Rover, Infiniti, MG and Porsche.
FIRM FAVOURITES: The Ford Fiesta, top, is the UK’s best selling car so far this year, while the Vauxhall Insignia, above, is in 10th place.