UK Car Sales For September: Oh For Goodness Sake!

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan
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uk car sales for september oh for goodness sake

It’s that time again. The time that I report on the market that no-one cares about. The UK. The SMMT has released the car registration figures today and as predicted, they fell, but not as much as other markets. The UK saw new car sales fall by only 8.9 percent, compared to, say, Italy. Overall, the UK market still remains 7.8 percent higher than last year (to date). The Ford Fiesta remains the best selling model in the UK, which will do our balance of trade with Spain and Germany no favors. Diesel cars and alternatively fuelled cars all posted growth in September. What was also telling about this “growth” was this little nugget of information: Private demand fell, while fleet demand increased. That’s right, while private customers are fleeing, car makers are trying to sustain volume by following the fleets. Shall we take a look the breakdown?

If you’re familiar with my UK car sales reports you’ll know that they are badly written and boring the American brands such as Cadillac, Dodge etc are always declining as they are fringe brands in the UK. So let’s jump straight to the mainstream ones. First up, Ford. They are the market leader in the UK, but the lead is slowly slipping. Ford notched up a sales decline of 14.97 percent. It seems those Fiestas aren’t enough to keep people in the Ford showrooms. Daewoo Chevrolet also posted a poor month with sales dropping 23.05 percent. Vauxhall, on the other hand, had a good month. A very good month. Sales rose 11.21 percent. Could the fleet sales be the answer to this anomaly? Vauxhall Insignias are very popular with fleets. Either way, I doubt GM will care.

Over to the Orient and, as per normal, Toyota is faring poorly. No reason to break out the For Goodness sake and celebrate. Toyota branded vehicle sales dropped a staggering 30.89 percent, while Lexus car sales fell even more, by 31.69 percent. Honda did better, but still poorly, falling only 17.45 percent. Nissan stays, relatively, flat, only falling 2.32 percent. Mazda also fell, with sales dropping 23.72 percent. Suzuki polished off an abysmal Japanese showing with sales falling 15.16 percent. It makes me wonder, that if it wasn’t for Suzuki’s strong performance in India, Suzuki would have gone under a long time ago. The only Japanese riser, astonishingly, was Mitsubishi. Their sales rose 17.67 percent. Over to South Korea and there wasn’t any good news there, either. Hyundai sales fell a whopping 23.57 percent while Kia dropped 15.56 percent. Maybe Hyundai’s marketing team in North America should give Hyundai UK a few pointers?

Let’s jump over The English Channel to France, where we have a mixed bag of results. Citroen sales dropped 6.08 percent, while Peugeot sales stayed flat, falling only 0.71 percent. Meanwhile, over at Renault, they’re happy. UK sales rose an impressive 37.39 percent. Over the (non-existent) border in Germany, we have another mixed bag of results. Volkswagen, over their mainstream brands, all posted losses, bar one. VW branded vehicle sales fell 12.35 percent, Skodas dropped 13.30 percent and, rather surprisingly, SEAT only fell 4.37 percent. The exception to all this was Audi, posting a rise in sales of 5.11 percent. In Munich, BMW didn’t have much of a good month with BMW cars falling 4.37 percent and Mini cars dropping 12.36 percent. The Cheshire cats of Germany were the Stuttgart squad, with Mercedes-Benz reporting a rise in sales of 13.68 percent. Even smart (smart?!) enjoyed an increase in sales of 10.80 percent.

In Italy, Sergio Marchionne didn’t have much to celebrate. Fiat branded car sales fell 20.03 percent, while Alfa Romeo dropped even more by 20.58 percent.

In short, it was pretty woeful and it won’t get any better any time soon. This is quite annoying as I’m hoping sales pick up pretty soon. I’m getting fed up of writing this column every month and only able to write words like “Dropped”, “Fell” and “Plunged”. For full details, click here for the full breakdown of the UK car sale figures.

UK New car sales, September 2010

SEPTEMBER% ChangeYEAR TO DATE% ChangeMARQUE2010% market share2009% market share2010% market share2009% market shareAbarth2440.072120.0615.091,1540.079730.0618.60Alfa Romeo1,5710.471,9780.54-20.586,1060.377,1350.47-14.42Aston Martin1240.041600.04-22.508450.059360.06-9.72Audi15,8894.7415,1174.115.1181,7395.0072,3854.7712.92Bentley1410.04990.0342.428060.056250.0428.96BMW18,6735.5719,5265.31-4.3782,0495.0274,2294.8910.53Cadillac30.0080.00-62.50230.001050.01-78.10Chevrolet2,2740.682,9550.80-23.0511,2230.6914,7920.98-24.13Chrysler2890.096810.19-57.561,1840.072,0860.14-43.24Citroen12,8563.8313,6883.72-6.0859,2183.6253,8383.559.99Corvette00.0010.00-100.0020.00360.00-94.44Daihatsu290.012840.08-89.791650.012,0800.14-92.07Daimler00.0000.000.0020.00170.00-88.24Dodge2110.067730.21-72.707370.052,1110.14-65.09Fiat9,3662.7911,7123.18-20.0343,8582.6842,2942.793.70Ford46,38913.8454,55314.83-14.97230,42614.09249,07616.42-7.49Honda12,1763.6314,7504.01-17.4552,2753.2060,8364.01-14.07Hummer30.0000.000.0040.00440.00-90.91Hyundai8,4312.5111,0313.00-23.5751,8153.1740,5782.6727.69Infiniti260.01240.018.331210.01240.00404.17Jaguar2,9290.873,3600.91-12.8313,1330.8013,9480.92-5.84Jeep3830.115600.15-31.611,6140.101,8250.12-11.56Kia8,2572.469,7782.66-15.5647,5232.9134,7772.2936.65Land Rover5,7881.736,5871.79-12.1330,7901.8822,0741.4639.49Lexus1,2200.361,7860.49-31.695,3260.336,2520.41-14.81Lotus290.01540.01-46.303870.023550.029.01Mazda8,6112.5711,2893.07-23.7237,8102.3136,0582.384.86Mercedes-Benz14,4264.3012,6903.4513.6859,2203.6253,6453.5410.39MG320.01610.02-47.542500.022650.02-5.66MINI7,5672.268,6342.35-12.3632,8202.0129,7901.9610.17Mitsubishi2,6910.802,2870.6217.679,8100.608,5990.5714.08Nissan15,7674.7016,1424.39-2.3271,1784.3557,4473.7923.90Opel00.0000.000.0000.0000.000.00Perodua990.03850.0216.476400.044320.0348.15Peugeot18,3095.4618,4405.01-0.7189,2345.4679,1725.2212.71Porsche6180.184720.1330.934,9690.303,8940.2627.61Proton890.031460.04-39.046390.047730.05-17.34Renault14,2254.2410,3542.8137.3975,7914.6341,3652.7383.22Saab1,2120.361,0930.3010.894,1770.266,6560.44-37.24SEAT5,3821.615,6281.53-4.3726,1521.6022,7731.5014.84Skoda5,4631.636,3011.71-13.3032,5271.9925,4121.6828.00smart1,4050.421,2680.3410.806,3550.396,1380.403.54Ssangyong140.001520.04-90.792200.016660.04-66.97Subaru6480.198630.23-24.913,0780.192,7450.1812.13Suzuki4,5571.365,3711.46-15.1617,7011.0822,6471.49-21.84Toyota14,6364.3721,1795.76-30.8971,9474.4079,9545.27-10.01Vauxhall42,23512.6041,25511.212.38198,62312.14187,89212.395.71Volkswagen24,7017.3728,1817.66-12.35138,2118.45122,5018.0812.82Volvo4,9651.486,1921.68-19.8229,9101.8323,1801.5329.03Other British940.03320.01193.758660.056400.0435.31Other Imports1990.061370.0445.261,0060.069640.064.36Total335,246 367,929 -8.881,635,659 1,517,039 7.82

Source: SMMT

Cammy Corrigan
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  • Mike978 Mike978 on Oct 06, 2010

    Why did the author say the UK market is one no-one cares about? GM and Ford both do better in the UK than any other European country. The UK is the second largest market in Europe and charges some of the highests prices (leading to good profitability). So I am sure plenty of Executives look at the state of the UK market.

  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Oct 07, 2010


    62 million people in the UK = 1.6 million sales thus far in 2010

    310 million people in the US = 8.6 million sales thus far in 2010

    The difference doesn't appear to be that much.

  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.
  • Stuki Moi "How do you take a small crossover and make it better?Slap the AMG badge on it and give it the AMG treatment."No, you don't.In fact, that is specifically what you do NOT do.Huge, frail wheels, and postage stamp sidewalls, do nothing but make overly tall cuvs tramline and judder. And render them even less useful across the few surfaces where they could conceivably have an advantage over more properly dimensioned cars. And: Small cuvs have pitiful enough fuel range as it is, even with more sensible engines.Instead, to make a small CUV better, you 1)make it a lower slung wagon. And only then give it the AMG treatment. AMG'ing, makes sense for the E class. And these days with larger cars, even the C class. For the S class, it never made sense, aside from the sheer aural visceralness of the last NA V8. The E-class is the center of AMG. Even the C-class, rarely touches the M3.Or 2) You give it the Raptor/Baja treatment. Massive, hypersophisticated suspension travel allowing landing meaningful jumps. As well as driving up and down wide enough stairs if desired. That's a kind of driving for which a taller stance, and IFS/IRS, makes sense.Attempting to turn a CUV into some sort of a laptime wonder, makes about as much sense as putting an America's Cup rig atop a ten deck cruiseship.