By on November 8, 2010

A few days ago, I wrote about car sales all over Europe falling faster than a…..erm……really fast thing. I also wrote how this didn’t bode well for the UK car market. Well, the figures are in and, unfortunately, I wasn’t wrong – this time. It’s pretty bad. New car registrations fell 22.2 percent in October. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) also said that further declines are likely for the rest for the year. Oh goody(!) Looks like I’m going to have to find more words for “dropped”.

Shall we take a look at the carnage? It’s not for the faint of heart.

First up, the Americans. Ford, one of the barometers of the European car market, had a pretty bad month in the UK. Their sales, year-on-year, fell 30.31 percent. What made this statistic even more bizarre was the fact that the Ford Fiesta was still the bestselling car in the UK. Which will give you some idea of how much other Ford cars were hit. General Motors had a bit of a mixed month.  Chevrolet fell 34.87 percent, but Vauxhall didn’t have that bad a month falling only 17.53 percent. Cadillac had a stellar month as their sales rose 100 percent. They sold one car. That’s right, in the whole of the UK, Cadillac sold just one single, solitary car. Go, Cadillac(!) As per normal, I won’t bother with Chrysler and their brands as they are marginal in the UK. But trust me, they were really bad.

Over to the Orient and it was another bad month all around. Toyota plunged 35.05 percent, Honda dropped 29.93 percent and Mazda fell 32.22 percent. Only Nissan and Mitsubishi had a relatively good month. Don’t get me wrong, they still lost sales, but not by as much. Mitsubishi fell 16.11 percent and Nissan dropped 14.96 percent. Jumping over to South Korea, I was hoping there would be some good news there. There wasn’t. It was worse. MUCH worse. Kia sales plunged 51.09 percent and Hyundai collapsed by 57.42 percent.

Time to go to Europe. In France, things didn’t improve. Peugeot sales fell 30.66 percent and Citroen’s dropped 23.07 percent. Renault’s sales weren’t that bad, but still poor. Their sales dropped only 11.18 percent.

Jumping the border into Italy and we have another mixed bag. Fiat’s sales plunged 46 percent, but strangely, Alfa Romeo had a great month. Their sales rose 21.65 percent.

Now Germany. Again a mixed bag. Mercedes-Benz’s sales fell 17.01 percent, but their Bavarian rivals, BMW, saw sales grow a massive 24.79 percent. That’ll get under Mercedes’ skin. Over at Volkswagen, the growth wasn’t where anyone expected. In these times of economic hardship, you’d think people would seek out cheap, well made cars like Skoda, right? Well, as we showed with Hyundai and Kia, that just simply isn’t true. Sales at Skoda fell 31.27 percent. As did sales at their sister brand SEAT; they fell 13.53 percent. Only Volkswagen and Audi registered growth, with sales growing 8.81 and 4.25 percent, respectively. Go figure.

Overall, a pretty poor month, with many more to come. If you want to see the full carnage, you can download the full report from SMMT here. If it carries on like this, I expect some manufacturers will start to withdraw from the UK market. Things are rough all over.

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5 Comments on “UK Car Sales In October 2010: Fail, Britannia...”


  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    ” Alfa Romeo had a great month. Their sales rose 21.65 percent.” Quote
     
    Alfa have a new model , getting rave reviews.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    What’s the usual size of the UK market?

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Another factor to consider, at a time when redundancies loom in near future, the lower tier of the new car market hits the brakes first.

  • avatar
    AaronH

    Only taxtakers can afford to drive in the UK since the terrorist parasites Tony B-Liar and Gordon “Stalin” Brown destroyed freemarket with thier taxes and laws. It is only natural that the taxtakers are cutting back on their car buying now that the Tories are threatening to cut spending.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Aaron – calm down. I am British and live in the US now. No need for Fox News style hypebole. There are higher taxes on fuel, has been for a long time. Still a great car selection compared to the US. The cut in public sector workers is around 500,000 over 3-4 years. Not a huge number since 75% of the workforce is already working for private companies.

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