July’s new car registrations figures show Britain’s new car market is still booming, recording the 29th successive month of growth.
172,907 new cars were registered despite it being just two months to new car registration date: some, you can assume, will be holding off for a shiny new 15 plate.
Ahead of the September sales rush, we looked at the data in more detail, to check out some of the trends shown by Britain’s new car buyers. And analysis of the figures reveals some interesting highlights…
Britain really can’t get enough of the Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta, now Britain’s best-selling car ever, is an enigma. You expect Fords to top the charts; they always have, apart from the odd monthly intermission from a Vauxhall, soon rectified. But, leading by such a margin! Well, that is something. Once again, the Fiesta outsold the next-best seller (also a Ford) by nearly 50% and the next-best supermini by more than 60%. For a car launched back in 2008, it’s astounding. Just goes to show what brilliant product can do (we’re looking at you, car manufacturer beam counters).
Britain can’t get enough of MG
MG almost died in 2005. It’s been on intermittent new car registrations chat life support ever since. But, would you believe, it’s stirring. Sales were up 651% in July. They are up 801% year to date. Britain is back buying MGs and it’s getting close to gaining critical, sustainable mass. OK, it’s still only 251 cars for July, but these are big gains upon gains: if they continue, who’s to say where it’ll be in a year’s time? A reborn brand to watch.
The MINI is back
The MINI has been a top 10 new car registrations regular for years, but it’s been notably absent this year. Have Brits gone off it? Nope. Simply, the factory’s been in transition from old to new Hatch. Now, finally, things are up to speed and the cars are rolling out of Oxford, rolling briefly into dealers and then zipping quickly off to new owners’ homes. Proof of how costly a model changeover can be if you only have one factory… Hence MINI’s decision to open a sister plant in Holland (using the former Mitsubishi Nedcar facility). It hopes never again to suffer such disruption.
The Vauxhall Astra is sinking fast
The Vauxhall Astra was, once upon a time, one of the rare cars to topple Ford in the monthly top 10 chart. Today, it’s down in 6th place. Beaten by the Nissan Qashqai, and just 800 sales ahead of the Audi A3. The Ford Focus is in second place, showing Britain still likes its family hatchbacks, making the failure of the current shape Astra even more stark. It’s a pretty car but it hasn’t worked and Vauxhall bosses will be alarmed at how fast sales are plunging. The new one, due 2015, really can’t come soon enough.
Diesel is still winning… for now
Diesel received a wake up call last month,with Boris Johnson’s proposed diesel Congestion Charge tax. Despite this scare, new car buyers still welcomed it with open arms: more than half the new car market was diesel, with petrol on less than 48% (and alternative fuel vehicles accoutring for the rest). All eyes on August and September to see if diesel, post Boris tax, continues to hold up…