Big names wheel out new mod­els in fight to stay top

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS -

NEW car sales in the UK last year were up by 10.8 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year, ac­cord­ing to the So­ci­ety of Mo­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Traders (SMMT) with 2,257,387 cars be­ing reg­is­tered in the past 12 months.

As in pre­vi­ous years, Ford main­tained its top slot with the best-sell­ing Fi­esta, closely fol­lowed by the Fo­cus. Vaux­hall took the run­ner-up rosettes with the Corsa and the As­tra. Nei­ther will rest on their au­to­mo­tive laurels in 2014. Ford has no less than 25 new ve­hi­cles lined-up for Euro­pean launches dur­ing the next five years. The list in­cludes the Edge, which will join the re­cently in­tro­duced EcoS­port in the SUV mar­ket, as well as the Ford Mus­tang and new Ka.

The much an­tic­i­pated Mus­tang is the first to be of­fered for sale in Europe in al­most 50 years of pro­duc­tion.

Less ex­cit­ing, but no less es­sen­tial to the Ford line-up, is the once quirky Ka which has been brought into the main­stream with a more cor­po­rate de­sign and hi-tech op­tions.

To­wards the end of the year Ford fans can ex­pect the launch of the first of the lux­ury Vig­nale range – an hon­our given to the Mon­deo – which will fea­ture unique de­sign el­e­ments, high qual­ity crafts­man­ship, ex­clu­sive spec­i­fi­ca­tion and ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies.

Sh­effield-born Martin Smith, Ex­ec­u­tive De­sign Di­rec­tor Ford Europe, said at the car’s de­but in Frank­furt a few months ago: “The Vig­nale name is be­ing in­tro­duced into ap­pro­pri­ate ve­hi­cle lines as the brand and the ser­vice in­fra­struc­ture de­velop and as we have more ca­pac­ity to pro­vide that ser­vice. We will di­ver­sify the Vig­nale name through the prod­uct port­fo­lio in ac­cor­dance with cus­tomer de­mand.” Not to be out done, Vaux­hall too has a num­ber of launches planned for 2014. March in par­tic­u­lar will be a busy month with no less than five ve­hi­cles in the line-up de­mand­ing at­ten­tion.

The Cas­cada and the As­tra GTC will both ben­e­fit from a new 1.6litre 200bhp en­gine, the Corsa VXR Club Sport will be fir­ing its way into the show­room as will the VXR8 and the In­signia VXR Su­perS­port. Later in the year ex­pect the new Corsa to be un­veiled – pos­si­bly at the Paris Mo­tor Show in the au­tumn.

LAUNCH: Vaux­hall In­signia VXR Su­perS­port, top. The new Ford Mus­tang will be the first to be of­fered for sale in Europe, above.

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