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Just as most European countries seem to be falling further down into recession, the UK new car market could be seeing the light at the end of a 5 year tunnel… March and September are two huge months in the UK as it is when the biannual number plate change occurs. This September the market is up 8% year-on-year to 359,612 registrations, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,620,609 units, up 4%. Q3 registrations rose 7.5% on 2011, the biggest non-scrappage impacted quarterly growth since 2001. However UK sales remain well below pre-recession levels: in 2007 1.94 million new cars were registered by end-September.
The models podium is identical to the 2012 year-to-date ranking, with the Ford Fiesta at 18,651 units and 5.2% followed by the Vauxhall Corsa with 17,089 sales and 4.8% and the Ford Focus at 13,837 units and 3.8%. The Vauxhall Astra is up to #4 ahead of the VW Golf at #5. The performer of the month is the Mercedes C-Class, back in the Top 10 for the second time in the last 3 months and up to a record 6th place with 7,948 sales and 2.2% share, bettering the #7 rank it reached last July and only its 4th time ever in the UK Top 10 after December 2005, November 2011 and July 2012.
The other big event in the UK this month is the Peugeot 208 breaking into the Top 10 for the first time ever thanks to 6,741 sales for a 1.9% market share. This comes 6 months after the last appearance in the Top 10 of its predecessor the Peugeot 207 last March. As a reminder, the Peugeot 207 first broke into the UK Top 10 exactly 6 years ago in September 2006 at #8 with 10,425 units, also 6 months after the last appearance in the Top 10 of its predecessor the Peugeot 206 in March 2006. So a totally identical relay for Peugeot’s best-sellers, 6 years apart…
Previous month: UK August 2012: Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series in olympic form
This article is sponsored by The Car People – the hassle-free way to buy a car.
Full September 2012 Top 10 Ranking Table below.