* See the Top 40 best-selling brands and Top 10 models by clicking on the title *
New car registrations in the UK are up 3.3% year-on-year in August to 81.640 units, the best result for the month since 2005 and keeping the year-to-date tally at a record 1.680.799, up 2.8% on the same period in 2015. While any year-on-year gain in the wake of the Brexit vote should be celebrated, the positive result in August is solely the work of fleet sales gaining 8% to 43.267 and 53% of the market whereas private sales, some would argue a truer barometer of consumer confidence, are down 0.2% to 37.288 and 45.7% share. Year-to-date, fleet sales are up 5% to 859.874 and 51.2% share (up from 50.2% a year ago) but private sales are up just 1% to 759.279 and 45.2% (down from 46% a year ago). The remainder of the sales are accounted for by business purchases.
Ford remains the most popular marque in the UK despite dropping 2% to 11.703 and 14.3% share, keeping Vauxhall at a fair distance, down 4% to 8.579 and 10.5%. Audi surges 6% to 6.195 sales and 7.6% share, spectacularly outselling its mass-market stablemate Volkswagen, itself crumbling down 25% to just 5.694 deliveries for a 7% share. According to BSCB calculations, this is the first time Audi ever outsells Volkswagen in the UK. This way, Audi passes BMW year-to-date to reclaim the #1 luxury title with 107.298 units so far vs. 106.061, but Mercedes – up 17% in August – lurks not far behind at 104.904. Boosted by the tremendous success of the new Sportage (see further down), Kia shoots up 81% to 7th place, becoming the best-selling Asian brand in the UK above local producer Nissan (+11%). Further down, Renault (+43%), Seat (+35%), Land Rover (+45%), Dacia (+97%), Jeep (+76%), Infiniti (+618%), MG (+130%) and Lotus (+500%) all post spectacular year-on-year gains.
Over in the models ranking, both market leaders the Ford Fiesta (-4%) and Focus (-6%) lose ground, caught up by the Vauxhall Corsa (+11%) and Astra (+20%) whereas the VW Golf (-24%) and Polo (-8%) register sharp declines. The Vauxall Mokka (+1%) is the most popular SUV in the country like a year ago. But the best performer in the Top 10 is once again the Kia Sportage, up a whopping 112% year-on-year thanks to the new model to shoot up to a best-ever 8th position overall. It’s the third time the Sportage manages a UK Top 10 ranking this year – and ever – after last February and April when it ranked #9 each time. The record of UK Top 10 appearances by a Korean model is held by the Hyundai i10: six times between July 2009 and December 2011, peaking at #3 in August 2009. Finally, the Ford Kuga makes its 2nd ever incursion inside the UK Top 10, lifting its best-ever ranking to #9 (it ranked #10 in August 2015).
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Full August 2016 Top 40 brands and Top 10 models below.