While many industries continue to experience slowdowns and even declining sales thanks to the general economic situation, the British car industry is growing and experiencing record sales. 2015 was the best year to date for sales of new cars across the country, and early figures suggest that 2016 could even surpass those record levels. In this article we look at the top 10 cars that punters are parting with the cash and being driven round with trade plates on.
Unsurprisingly, the perennial top-selling Ford Fiesta continues to dominate sales in the new car market. After shifting more than 130,000 models, which accounted for over 5% of the 2.3 million new car sales in 2015, the Fiesta is again leading the way in 2016. By the end of July more than 71,000 had been sold, out of a total of 1,599,000 new registrations; the combination of economy, reliability, cheap running costs and a fun driving experience continues to keep Ford’s flagship mid-size car flying high. Indeed, such is its dominance that the Fiesta has sold 50% more vehicles than its nearest rivals, and keeps its top tag among both new and used cars.
Ford’s other strong seller, the Focus, is also high on the list, with some 43,600 sales by the end of July, placing it in third place among new car sales, just behind the popular Vauxhall Corsa (47,900 sales), also a traditional top seller. Family cars and hatchbacks remain firmly amongst the top of the bestselling car lists across the motor trade, despite renewed interest in crossover and SUV marques.
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Volkswagen is another company that always produces strong sales in the UK, and despite the emissions scandals that have plagued the industry, its Golf and Polo models remain firm favourites among new car buyers, placing 4th and 7th respectively in the 2016 sales to date. The Golf has always been a class leader among hatchbacks and retains a very strong appeal thanks to its terrific drive and firm handling. Right on its heels is the Nissan Qashqai, which is now in 5th place among new car sales, and which is looking to strengthen its market share, thanks to an impressive range of models and specification.
The much-improved Astra continues to sell strongly, placing 6th in 2016 to date, while there’s a resurgence for the MINI, which had shifted over 26,500 units by the end of July. Its practical size and increased comfort levels are clearly finding their place in the UK market. Rounding out the top 10 of 2016 so far are Vauxhall’s Mokka, which is fairly high specked for a car of its class, and the compact executive Mercedes C-Class, which has also topped 25,000 sales by mid-summer.