By on January 7, 2013

Continental Europe’s car sales may be in the toilet, but the UK’s new car market was up 5.3 percent in 2012, with the Ford Fiesta leading the sales charts.

With 2.04 million new cars sold, the UK had its best year since 2008, with numerous manufacturers recording record years. Jaguar Land Rover, which has struggled to gain traction in the United States, had a banner year in the UK.

Of the top 5 vehicles on sales, four of those slots were occupied by either Ford or Vauxhall vehicles. The Ford Fiesta was Britain’s top-seller, beating the second place Vauxhall Corsa by some 20,000 units. Next up was the Ford Focus, followed by the Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf. The BMW 3-Series ranked 7th, and was the UK’s top luxury car.

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8 Comments on “UK Sales The Lone Bright Spot In An Otherwise Dismal Europe...”


  • avatar

    Well I don’t know about the rest of Europe but I know that the UK are heading into a double dip Recession, so would expect all Car sales will take a dip shortly, at least that’s what my friend in Scotland tell me,so we will see what the future holds!

    • 0 avatar
      stephenjmcn

      We’ve had the double dip, we’re going for the triple now.

      I’ve made the point here in the last few months that these sales are somewhat artificial in nature – the dealers are (presumably encouraged by the manufacturers) registering new cars to themselves and selling as used. Or selling the new cars at 5 years 0% finance and £1000′s in deposit contributions.

      It can’t be very profitable, if at all, and has to end somewhere. When it does, things will be very bleak indeed.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    No Toyota’s in the top 10? Interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      British buyers can be weirdly patriotic when it comes to car brands, and Vauxhall and Ford are still thought of as “domestic” marques by most Britons, even though all Vauxhalls save the Astra and Vivaro are made overseas, along with all Fords except the Transit (and even that’s about to be off-shored). It’s why GM has continued with the Vauxhall brand, even though it’s only sold in one market and the cars are all just rebadged Opels – successive studies have shown that sales would collapse if a foreign nameplate were substituted.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Sans the powertrain, the Fiesta is mostly German engineered. The 1.6L Sigma is very British. The 1.6L sigma is still made at Dagenham.

      • 0 avatar
        iainthornton

        British people don’t see Vauxhall and Ford as particularly domestic products. They’re just well-established in the market and there’s nothing particularly wrong with them.

    • 0 avatar
      iainthornton

      Japanese cars simply aren’t popular in Europe and the UK on the whole. For good reason.

  • avatar

    So, Vauxhall is the number one brand in Dec and Ford is the number one brand for all of 2012? 4 out of the top 5 sellers are from Ford and GM?
    That is impossible!! GM and Ford do not make any RHD cars, a reason given for their near zero sales in Japan. The American companies only make big pickup trucks and SUV’s that no body want. How could GM and Ford be dominating the UK market, which is very similar to the Japanese auto market (High gas prices, high taxes, Right hand drive and prefer small cars). This should put an end to everyone parroting the Japanese govt in claiming their market is open. But unfortunately it wont.


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