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Why the UK market is growing in 2012

The Fiat 500 is one of the reasons why the UK market is euphoric this year...

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Going against the general gloomy trend in new car sales in Europe this year (general market down 7%,  Italy down 20%France down 13% and Spain down 12%), the UK market has shown insolent year-on-year growth in every month of the year so far in 2012 except February, and confirms in October at +12% to 151,252 registrations. Year-to-date, the 1,771,862 new cars have found a buyer in the UK, a 5% or 83,823 units progression over 2011 and now on track to jump back above the 2 million annual units mark after dropping to 1,941,253 in 2011. Let's get under the skin of this great performance...

...and the VW Up! is another reason.

The first interesting element to note is that the growth in 2012 reflects an improvement in private demand, while fleet demand has been stable. This means there is 'real' demand from 'real' consumers wanting new cars and is an indication that 2012's growth is robust and not artificially boosted by fleet sales. The second main explanation for the health of the UK new car market this year is the incredible dynamism of the smallest car segment, the minis, up 52% year-to-date due to a bunch of new models being released recently: the VW Up! is #57 and the Skoda Citigo #140 while the Fiat 500 has its best year in the country so far at #11. The Supermini segment for its part is up 6%, with these two segments accounting for no less than 40% of the UK market right now!

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Categories: UK
  1. alex
    December 1st, 2012 at 04:21 | #1

    The UK has probably got one of the most varied car markets in Europe. We like compacts cars such as the Volkswagen UP. This trend really took off in 1999/2000 and then died down. 2008 it started up again with the Hyundai I10. Cars such as the Astra, Focus and Golf sell far better than many other groups, including compacts, or as we call it Mini. Superminis such as the Clio and Punto have sold EXTEREMELY poorly this year. I have a feeling the Clio will sell better when the 4th generation is officially launched next year. The Yaris has been successful!

  2. December 1st, 2012 at 03:14 | #2

    Good for that. At least one big market to grow. Fiat is part of that growth as it shows sales figures for October. While Italy counts for 53% of its European sales, the UK counts for 9% but its sales are up a massive 32% thanks mainly to 500 model, again top 10 in October. Graphics and analysis in my blog:


  3. December 1st, 2012 at 02:27 | #3

    That’s good. At least good news in troubled Europe. Fiat is clearly winner of this trend and the results can be seen in October sales figures, up 32% for the whole group, and the 500 was number 10th best-selling car in that month, beating the Mini. For more information about it, visit my blog:


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