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2008 Full Year Top Ten Best-Selling Cars in Britain

by Henk Bekker

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In 2008, the Ford Focus topped the list of best-selling car models in the United Kingdom while the Vauxhall Corsa was the second most registered new passenger vehicle in Britain.

© 2011 Ford Motor Company and Wieck Media Services, Inc.

The list of top ten best-selling cars in 2008 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) was led by the Ford Focus, which just outsold the Vauxhall Corsa in 2008 to remain Britain’s favorite passenger car for the eighth consecutive year. The German Volkswagen Golf  was again the most popular imported car in Britain.

In 2008, a total of 2,131,795 new motorcars were registered in the UK – a decline of 11.3% compared to new passenger vehicle registrations in 2007.

The Top Ten Best-Selling Cars in Great Britain in 2008

Statistics released by the SMMT of the top ten most sold cars in the UK in 2008 are as follows:

  1. Ford Focus … 101,593
  2. Vauxhall Corsa … 99,574
  3. Ford Fiesta … 94,989
  4. Vauxhall Astra … 90,641
  5. Volkswagen Golf … 65,029
  6. Peugeot 207 … 53,462
  7. BMW 3 Series … 49,384
  8. Ford Mondeo … 44,150
  9. Vauxhall Zafira … 43,169
  10. Vauxhall Vectra … 42,555

Changes in the List of 10 Top-Selling Car Models in Britain

The list of the top ten most-sold cars in Britain for 2008  hardly changed compared to the top ten new car registrations in 2007. In 2008, the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Zafira returned to the best-seller list – both were amongst the top ten most popular cars in 2006 – at the expense of the French Renault Mégane (eighth most popular car in 2007) and Renault Clio (ninth most sold car in 2007).

Among the car models carried over from the 2007 best-sellers list, the only change in relative position was for the Vauxhall Corsa and Vauxhall Astra that swapped positions. The Vauxhall Corsa was also the only car to register an increase the actual number of units sold. (In 2007, only 94,120 new Vauxhall Corsas were registered in the UK.)

2008 Passenger Car Market in Great Britain

2008 was, as expected, a dismal year for new car registrations in the UK with the lowest volume of cars sold since 1996. In 2008, 447,255 fewer cars were sold in the UK than in 2003, the peak year for new car registrations in Britain. The SMMT forecasts that the British car market will shrink to only 1.78 million new car registrations in 2009.

During 2008, the British new car market declined for eight successive months with the final quarter of 2008 sawing a drop of 27.2% in overall sales. In this negative climate, a year-on-year drop of 21.2% in December is considered a positive sign – a decline of 35% was predicted for the final month of 2008.

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