Best-Selling Cars

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2016 (Q1) Britain: Best-Selling Car Brands and Models

by Henk Bekker

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The British car market grew by 5.1% during the first quarter of 2016. Ford and the Fiesta were the top-selling car brand and model. Although Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen remained the strongest carmakers in the UK, most of the gains accrued to smaller marques. March 2016 set new records for car sales in Britain with more than half a million cars sold for only the third time in British automobile history.

Ford GT at Geneva Auto Show 2016

The British Car Market in 2016 (Q1)

New passenger vehicle registrations in the UK increased by 5.1% during the first three quarters of 2016 to a new record 771,780 cars. The British car market has expanded for 49 of the last 50 months.

March is traditionally the most important month for new car registrations in the UK. In March 2016, a new record 518,707 cars were registered in Britain for the first time. This was the highest monthly figure since the current registration system was introduced in 1999 and only the third month ever for British car sales to have been more than half a million cars in a single month.

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Best-Selling Car Marques in Britain in 2016 (Q1)

The top-selling car brands in the UK during the first three months of 2016 according to car sales statistics published by the SMMT were:

MARQUE

Q1/2016

Q1/2015

% Share

% Change

Total

Total

771,780

734,588

100.00

5.1

1

Ford

Ford

93,897

94,804

12.17

-1.0

2

Vauxhall

Vauxhall

75,032

75,176

9.72

-0.2

3

Volkswagen

Volkswagen

57,443

60,388

7.44

-4.9

4

Audi

Audi

47,380

44,919

6.14

5.5

5

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz

47,239

40,311

6.12

17.2

6

BMW

BMW

46,495

40,024

6.02

16.2

7

Nissan

Nissan

43,843

46,247

5.68

-5.2

8

Peugeot

Peugeot

30,991

32,913

4.02

-5.8

9

Toyota

Toyota

30,788

30,210

3.99

1.9

10

Hyundai

Hyundai

25,368

24,866

3.29

2.0

11

Kia

Kia

24,162

22,265

3.13

8.5

12

Land Rover

Land Rover

24,118

20,605

3.12

17.1

13

Renault

Renault

23,959

20,593

3.10

16.4

14

Citroen

Citroen*

21,354

25,258

2.77

-15.5

15

Skoda

Skoda

20,422

18,731

2.65

9.0

16

Honda

Honda

19,709

17,164

2.55

14.8

17

Fiat

Fiat

18,665

18,049

2.42

3.4

18

Mazda

Mazda

17,191

14,730

2.23

16.7

19

MINI

MINI

16,178

14,961

2.10

8.1

20

SEAT

SEAT

13,390

14,158

1.73

-5.4

21

Suzuki

Suzuki

11,545

10,190

1.50

13.3

22

Volvo

Volvo

11,508

10,591

1.49

8.7

23

Jaguar

Jaguar

8,680

4,952

1.12

75.3

24

Dacia

Dacia

7,453

7,529

0.97

-1.0

25

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi

6,585

7,970

0.85

-17.4

26

DS

DS*

5,284

0.68

0.0

27

Lexus

Lexus

4,337

3,686

0.56

17.7

28

Jeep

Jeep

3,746

2,722

0.49

37.6

29

Porsche

Porsche

3,326

2,730

0.43

21.8

30

smart

smart

2,837

1,310

0.37

116.6

Top-Selling Car Brand in the UK in 2016 (Q1)

Although new record sales were set in the British car market during the first quarter of 2016, half of the top-ten best-selling brand had weaker sales with a further two top marques loosing marking share.

Britain’s top three car brands all had weaker sales at the start of 2016. Ford sales were down by a percentage point, which in an expanding market translated into a 0.75% lost in market share. Vauxhall sales were barely changed from a year ago.

Third place Volkswagen had sales down by nearly 5%, which resulted in a lost in market share of 0.78%.

Nissan sales in Britain were down by 5.2% and a resultant slip from fourth to seventh place as best-selling car marque in Britain during the first quarter of 2016.

As a result, the three German “premium” but clearly not exclusive brands Audi, Mercedes Benz and BMW each moved up one rank position. Audi sales were in line with the broader market while Mercedes Benz and BMW were sharply up for more than half a percentage point market share gain. Mercedes Benz narrowed the gap to Audi from 4,600 cars a year ago to only 141 cars this year.

Peugeot remained in eighth place despite weaker sales with Toyota still at ninth with below market average increases. Hyundai became the tenth largest car brand in Britain in the first quarter of 2016, at the expense of Citroen.

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A few further salient features from the car sales statistics for Britain for the first quarter of 2016:

Best-Selling Car Models in Britain in 2016 (Q1)

The ten top-selling car models in Britain during the first quarter of 2016 according to the SMMT were:

Car Make & Model

Q1/2016

Q1/2015

Q1/2014

1

Ford Fiesta

36,327

39,804

39,240

2

Vauxhall Corsa

24,579

29,100

23,839

3

Ford Focus

20,656

22,287

24,759

4

VW Golf

19,428

19,435

19,160

5

Nissan Qashqai

18,680

18,686

12,937

6

VW Polo

15,162

14,821

13,631

7

Vauxhall Astra

14,764

15,009

17,465

8

Audi A3

13,046

14,358

11,583

9

Vauxhall Mokka

12,505

10

Fiat 500

11,400

13,243

11,685

Britain’s Ten Favorite Car Models in 2016 (Q1)

There were only minor changes in the composition and rank order of the ten most-popular car models in Britain during the first quarter of 2016. The British seemed to have fixed habits in car selection, however, with the exception of the VW Polo and Vauxhall Mokka, all other top-ten models had weaker sales than a year ago.

There were no changed in the rank positions of the top five best-selling car models in Britain during the first quarter of 2016. The Ford Fiesta maintained its tradition top slot while the Vauxhall Corsa were second for the second consecutive year with the Ford Focus again third.

The VW Golf maintained its traditional fourth place in Britain. Although VW sales were down 5%, only seven fewer Golfs were sold in Britain compared to the first quarter of 2016.

It was a similar situation for the Nissan Qashqai that was in fifth place for the second consecutive year. While Nissan sales were down 5%, but Qashqai sales slipped only six cars.

VW Polo sales increased allowing the Polo to regain sixth place from the Vauxhall Astra that slipped down a position for the third consecutive year. The Audi A3 maintained its eighth place.

The Vauxhall Mokka is a new entrant at ninth while the Fiat 500 managed to hang on to tenth place despite selling nearly 2,000 cars fewer than a year ago.

The Mercedes Benz C-Class slipped out of the top-ten list from ninth a year ago.

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