In 2014, the top-selling car manufacturers and marques in Britain were again Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen. The British car market expanded by 9.4% to nearly 2.5 million new passenger vehicle registrations in 2014 – the highest total in a decade. December 2014, was the 34th consecutive month of year-on-year increases in car sales in the UK. The Ford Fiesta was the most popular car model in Britain in 2014.
The British Car Market in 2014
New passenger vehicle registrations in the United Kingdom increased by 9.35% in 2014 to 2,476,435 cars according to car sales statistics released by the SMMT. This was the highest number of cars in a decade and the fourth highest in British history – car sales were only higher in 2002, 2003, and 2004.
The UK strengthened its position as the second-largest car market in Europe behind Germany and now comfortably ahead of France, Italy and Spain. Of the top five, only the Spanish market – helped by a government old-car scrappage scheme – grew faster than the British car market.
The number of alternative fuel new passenger vehicles registered in the UK grew by 58% in 2014 to 51,739 cars. However, diesel cars (1,240,287) remain far more popular followed by standard petrol-engine cars (1,184,409).
Best-Selling Car Manufacturers in Britain in 2014 (Full Year)
The 30 top-selling car marques in the United Kingdom in 2014 according to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the SMMT were:
|Rank||Manufacturer||Sales 2014||% Share||% Change||Sales 2013|
Top-Ten Best-Selling Car Brands in Britain in 2014 (Full Year)
There were no changes in the relative positions of the top-selling car brands in the UK in 2014 compared to 2013. The first change is only at the 15th place.
Ford and Vauxhall maintained their traditional positions as the most-popular car brands in the UK. Both marques sold more cars in 2014 in Britain than a year ago but both market leaders underperformed the broader market and each lost around a half a percentage point in market share.
German car brands sold well in Britain in 2014. Volkswagen and VW-owned Audi had double-digit growth in sales in the UK in 2014 with Volkswagen selling above 200,000 cars for the firs time in a calendar year in Britain.
BMW sales narrowly outperformed the broader market in Britain in 2014 but the Munich firm fell further behind Audi, which only took fourth place from BMW in Britain in 2013. For the first time since 2005, no BMW car made it on the list of the top-ten most-popular cars models in Britain.
Nissan had the strongest sales growth of the top-ten best-selling car brands in Britain in 2014. Nissan was helped by the popularity of the Qasqai and Juke – both models on the top-10 list of most popular car models in Britain in 2014.
Mercedes-Benz also had solid growth in Britain in 2014. Of the top-ten best-selling brands in Britain, only Nissan performed stronger.
Peugeot was the only top-ten marque in Britain to have sold fewer cars in 2014 than in 2013. In the fast growing British car market, a decline in sales of 1.8% cost Peugeot half a percentage point in market share.
Toyota and Citroen somewhat underperformed the broader UK market in 2014 but maintained their relative sales positions.
Top-30 Best-Selling Car Brands in Britain in 2014 (Full Year)
The South Korean marques Hyundai and Kia maintained their 11th and 12th places in Britain in 2014 although both brands underperformed the broader market. In contrast, VW-owned Skoda and Fiat experienced strong growth. The Fiat 500 was the ninth most-bought car model in Britain in 2014.
Of the top-20 brands, Renault had the best performance in 2014 with sales up 44%. Honda was the worst performer with sales down 4%. As a result, Honda and Renault swopped 15th and 18th places from a year ago.
Land Rover and Mini maintained their places from a year ago despite strongly underperforming the broader market. Mini has been performing well since the introduction of a new main model earlier in the year.
Seat narrowly missed out on improving a place in 2014. The Spanish carmaker had the strongest growth of any brand in the Volkswagen group in Britain in 2014.
Volvo sales in Britain in 2014 increased by more than a quarter to make the Swedish brand the only new entry on the top-20 list (at the expense of Suzuki).
A few further salient numbers from the new passenger vehicle registration data for the UK in 2014:
- Mitsubishi and Jeep showed the strongest growth in car sales in Britain in 2014 with sales up by 75%.
- Smart was the worst performer with sales down 18%. Mercedes-Benz will expect a better performance in 2015 with the launch of a new model in the final weeks of 2014.
- Jeep was the only new entrant on the top-30 list of best-selling marques in Britain in 2014. Chevrolet (25th in 2013) dropped out of the list with sales down 76% following the withdrawal of the brand from the European market.
- Only four brands sold fewer cars in 2014 compared to 2013: Peugeot (-1.8%), Honda (-3.8%), Alfa Romeo (-2.9%) and Smart (-18.3%).
The Ford Fiesta was Britain’s favorite car model in 2014 for the sixth consecutive year.