* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 40 brands by clicking on the title *
The UK new car market starts 2016 on a positive note with sales up 3% to reach an 11-year high for January of 169.678 registrations. Even better news: this increase is fuelled by private buyers with demand for new cars up by 8% to 73.061 units and 43.1% share vs. 41% a year ago according to SMMT. The month marks the highest number of new cars registered to private buyers in January in 12 years. On the other hand, fleet sales are down 1% to 89.901 units and 53% share vs. 55.2% in January 2015. Alternative-fuel vehicle continue to grow in popularity, with registrations up 32% year-on-year to a record 3.6% share. Petrol hybrids are up 44% to 3.783 cars, plug-in hybrids up 32% to 1.592 and pure electric cars up 14% to 584.
Ford maintains its grip on the UK market with volumes up 3% to 22.035 and 13% share whereas immediate followers Vauxhall (-10%) and Volkswagen (-14%) bite the dust. Mercedes on the other hand is up a fantastic 26% on January 2015 to land in 4th position overall with 11.800 sales and 7% share, only 255 units below Volkswagen! Audi (+1%) isn’t far behind either at 11.513 units with Nissan the last manufacturer to post a 5-digit sales figure in the UK this month at 10.720 (-3%). Notice also Suzuki up 24%, Honda up 25%, Mazda up 28%, Renault up 37%, Ssangyong up 122%, MG up 132%, Jeep up 139%, Jaguar up 182% and Smart up 266%.
In the models ranking, the Ford Fiesta retains the pole position by far at 5.1% share despite sales down 4% on a year ago, but the big event this month is the Nissan Qashqai rising to a best-ever 2nd place in the UK, the highest-ever ranking reached by a Japanese nameplate here and smashing its previous best of #4 hit in January 2015 and March 2015. January and March are traditionally very strong months for Nissan and this year is now exception with the Juke making a reappearance inside the UK Top 10 for only the second time in the past 10 months at #6 and 3.446 sales. The Vauxhall Corsa (-30%), Ford Focus (-11%), VW Golf (-13%), Audi A3 (-12%) and Mercedes C-Class (-14%) all fall heavily.
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Full January 2016 Top 10 models and Top 40 brands below.