UK October 2016: Market up 1.4%, Audi > VW for 2nd time in 3 months

audi-a3-uk-october-2016-picture-courtesy-largus-frAudi outsells Volkswagen for the 2nd time ever and the A3 ranks at a record #5,

* See the Top 40 best-selling brands and Top 10 models by clicking on the title *

The UK new car market manages to nudge a 1.4% year-on-year increase in October to 180.168 units, meaning the year-to-date tally is still breaking records at +2.5% to 2.330.663 deliveries after ten months. Once again fleet sales do the heavy lifting this month with a 4.2% gain to 96.440 and 53.5% share vs. 50.6% YTD, whereas private sales are down 1.1% to 77.821 and 43.2% vs. 45.5% and business sales are down 7.8% to 5.907.

vauxhall-astra-uk-october-2016The Vauxhall Astra dominates its segment in October. 

Ford drops 3% but remains the most popular brand at 11.9% share ahead of Vauxhall at 8.3% (-6%). For the second time in the past three months, Audi (+11%) outsells mass market stablemate Volkswagen (+0.4%) with 14.659 units and 8.1% share vs. 14.023 and 7.8%. BMW is not far behind at 13.541 and 7.5% (-3%). Nissan (+13%), Mercedes (+14%) and Kia (+15%) shine inside the Top 10 while just outside, Skoda (+10%), Mini (+17%), Seat (+51%), Jaguar (+55%), Dacia (+63%), Smart (+23%) and MG (+62%) stand out.

2015 Nissan JukeFirst Top 10 ranking since January for the Nissan Juke. 

Model-wise, below the Ford Fiesta in the lead by far despite a 9% drop, the Vauxhall Astra shoots up 78% to 2nd place with 4.985 sales, the first time it ranks that high in the UK since August 2013. The Astra outsells all its competitors in the compact segment this month, including its archenemy the VW Golf (#4). The Nissan Qashqai for its part is up two spots on September and 9% on October 2015 to #3, its first podium ranking since last February. The Audi A3 teases its stablemate the VW Golf at 4.281 sales vs. 4.520 in 5th place which is an all-time high ranking for the compact Audi, also hit in April 2014. The Nissan Juke is back in the Top 10 for the first time since last January and the Kia Sportage snaps its 4th ever Top 10 ranking after last February, April and August.

Previous month: UK September 2016: Fleet sales edge market up 1.6% despite Brexit

One year ago:UK October 2015: First year-on-year decline in record 43 months

Full October 2016 Top 40 brands and Top 10 models below.

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UK September 2016: Fleet sales edge market up 1.6% despite Brexit

audi-a3-uk-september-2016-picture-courtesy-autoexpress-co-ukAudi A3 sales are up 34% in September, earning it a spot in the YTD Top 10.

* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 40 brands by clicking on the title *

New bi-annual license plates traditionally make September one of the two largest months of the year with March for sales, and despite the recent Brexit vote sinking the pound and prompting some manufacturers to raise their prices, 2016 marks a new September volume record, inching past last year’s all-time high by 1.6% to 469.696 units. This means the year-to-date tally is still evolving at all-time record heights, up 2.6% on the same period a year ago to 2.150.495. As it was already the case in August, fleet sales are doing all the work though this month: up 7% to 222.844 units while private sales are down 2% to 223.844 and business sales down 15% to 23.008. Year-to-date, fleet sales are up 5% to 1.082.718, private sales up just 0.4% to 983.123 and business sales down 6% to 84.654.

september-new-car-registrations-2000-to-present-chart-900x594September new car registrations – 2000 to 2016. Source: SMMT

Ford holds onto the lead of the brands ranking but sees its market share thaw to 10.4% due do sales down 11% to 49.078. Vauxhall (-5%) comes in second at 8.9% and Volkswagen reclaims the third spot it holds year-to-date in spite of volumes down 14% after being outsold for the first time in history by stablemate Audi in August. VW is not out of the woods yet though at 33.722 sales it barely edges past BMW at 32.595 (+10%), Mercedes at 31.988 (+16%) and Audi at 31.113 (+9%). Long term trends are pushing for at least one of the three premium Germans to overtake VW consistently over the next couple of years. Renault (+14%) and Hyundai (+10%) are the other double-digit gainers in the Top 10 brands in September.

mercedes-c-class-uk-september-2016-picture-courtesy-autoexpress-co-ukThe Mercedes C-Class is among UK’s Top 10 best-sellers for the 5th time in the past 6 months. 

Below, notice Land Rover up a whopping 49% to #13 and 14.629 sales, Mini up 18%, Jaguar up 33%, Dacia up 18%, Lexus up 16%, Jeep up 19%, Smart up 30%, MG up 97% now that the GS SUV is available, Bentley up 111%, Infiniti up 142% and Lotus up 114%. In the models ranking, the Ford Fiesta retains the title of best-selling nameplate in the country despite deliveries down a harsh 13% to 19.769, but the entire Top 4 loses volume year-on-year in September: the Vauxhall Corsa (-7%), VW Golf (-19%) and Ford Focus (-23%). The Nissan Qashqai gains 5% to 10.619 units in 5th place ahead of the VW Polo (-11%). Excellent performances of the Vauxhall Astra (+20%), Audi A3 (+34%) now back into the YTD Top 10 and Mercedes C-Class (+23%), lodging a 5th Top 10 ranking in the past 6 months at #10..

Previous month: UK August 2016: Audi outsells Volkswagen for the first time

One year ago: UK September 2015: 43rd month up to all-time record September

Full September 2016 Top 10 models and Top 40 brands below.

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UK August 2016: Audi outsells Volkswagen for the first time

Kia Sportage UK August 2016The Kia Sportage ranks at a best-ever 8th place overall in August.

* 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.

Audi VW BMW UK August 2016. Picture courtesy auto-motor-und-sport.deFor the first time in UK history, Audi manages to outsell VW, with BMW just behind.

August-new-car-registrations-2000-to-present-chart-768x515August new car registrations – 2000 to 2016. Source: SMMT

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.

Ford Kuga UK August 2016The Ford Kuga is in runout mode just as a facelifted version (pictured) is about to launch.

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).

Previous post: UK July 2016: Discover the Top 130 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Previous month: UK July 2016: Vauxhall Astra and Mercedes A-Class shoot up

One year ago: UK August 2015: Vauxhall Mokka up, Ford Kuga breaks into Top 10

Full August 2016 Top 40 brands and Top 10 models below.

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UK July 2016: Discover the Top 130 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Jaguar F-Pace UK July 2016The F-Pace misses out on becoming Jaguar’s best-seller at home by just 7 sales. 

* See the Top 130 best-selling models by clicking on the title *

After the traditional All-brands ranking and Top 10 models, we now explore the UK models ranking in more detail for July: this time with a Top 130. Just outside the familiar Top 10, the Kia Sportage pushes up 84% to #11 thanks to the new model with 2.883 sales, distancing the Ford Kuga, Vauxhall Insignia and Audi A1. The Ford C-Max is up 49% to #23, the Hyundai Tucson up 59% to #24, the Range Rover Evoque up 89% to #30 (the convertible effect?), Land Rover Discovery Sport up 185% to #32 and the Nissan X-Trail up 157% to #47.

Range Rover Evoque UK July 2016Range Rover Evoque sales are up 89% year-on-year in July. 

The Renault Kadjar is the most popular all-new nameplate in the UK (<12 months) at #62, followed closely by the Jaguar F-Pace: only one month after breaking into the UK Top 100 for the first time (#96 in June), the luxury SUV gallops up 28 spots to a splendid 68th position, only 7 sales short of becoming Jaguar’s best-seller at home… (the XE is #67). The Mercedes GLC (#74), GLE (#90) and Honda HR-V (#99) are the only other recent launches managing to rank inside the Top 100.

Previous post: UK July 2016: Vauxhall Astra and Mercedes A-Class shoot up

One year ago: UK July 2015: Now with Top 125 models (BSCB exclusive)

Full July 2016 Top 130 models ranking below.

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UK First Half 2016 – LCV: Discover the Top 50 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Ford Transit Custom UK June 2016The Ford Transit Custom is the most popular light commercial vehicle in the UK. 

* See the Top 23 brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Light Commercial Vehicle market in the UK is up 3% year-on-year over the First Half of 2016 to a record 191.966 registrations. Ford tightens its stranglehold on the market thanks to deliveries up 20% to 59.239 for a 30.9% share vs. 26.6% a year ago. The following 5 manufacturers all see their market share thaw: Volkswagen is down 8% in 2nd place to 11.4% share while Vauxhall gains 1% to 10.8%, with Peugeot (-4%), Citroen (-1%) and Mercedes (+1%) in tow. Renault (+20%) and Nissan (+24%) on the other hand post solid gains. Fiat (-24%), Toyota (-32%) and Land Rover (-43%) crumble down. Chinese LDV appears at #21 when Great Wall drops 37% to #18.

Ford Transit UK June 2016The Ford Transit is #2 best-selling light commercial so far in the UK in 2016. 

UK-van-registrations-rolling-year-totals-July-2010-to-date-2016-chartSource: SMMT

Model-wise, Ford places the Transit Custom (13.3%) and Transit (8.3%) atop the sales charts, knocking the Vauxhall Vivaro to #3. The VW Transporter overtakes the Mercedes Sprinter to #4 and the Renault Trafic gains three spots on its FY15 ranking to #6. The Ford Ranger (#11) takes the lead of the pickup segment, distancing the Mitsubishi L200 (#14), Isuzu D-Max (#16) and Toyota Hilux (#17), just as the Fiat Fullback (#45) makes its entrance.

Previous post: UK Full Year 2015 – LCV: Ford Transit Custom and Opel Vivaro on top

Full H1 2016 Top 23 brands and Top 50 models ranking below.

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UK July 2016: Vauxhall Astra and Mercedes A-Class shoot up

Mercedes A Class UK July 2016Mercedes A-Class

* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 40 All-brands by clicking on the title *

The UK new car market has now well and truly plateaued: after dropping 0.8% in June, it is up just 0.1% year-on-year in July to 178.523. The Year-to-date tally is still evolving at record heights though at +3% and 1.599.159. If all and all this is not such a bad result in a July European environment where both Germany and France dipped, the not-so-good news is that private registrations, a good indicator of consumer confidence, are down 6% to 72.727 whereas fleet purchases – that can be more artificially boosted – pull the entire market up at +5% and 99.124. As the Brexit implications on the local car market remain unclear in the absence for now of actual formal and final decision by the government to effectively leave the European Union and while we wait for the start of potential free-trade negotiations, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “After a healthy start to 2016 and record registrations in 2015 the market is showing signs of cooling. The automotive market is a vital part of the British economy and it’s important government delivers the economic conditions which instil business and consumer confidence.”

UK July-new-car-registrations-2000-to-present-chart

In the brands ranking, Ford keeps the lead in spite of sales 8% to 22.247 but Vauxhall is catching up at +17% and 19.733 units, potentially helped by the brand’s traditional strength in the fleet market. Volkswagen drops 9% in third place, Mercedes shoots up 15% to snap the 4th place away from BMW (#7) with Audi in tow (-11%). Kia gains a splendid 27% year-on-year and 5 spots on June to #8, Land Rover is up an even more impressive 73%, with Volvo (+20%), Suzuki (+41%), Dacia (+33%), DS (+55%), Jeep (+71%), Smart (+32%) and Infiniti (+191%) among the brands registering the largest gains in July.

Vauxhall Astra UK July 2016Vauxhall Astra

Model-wise, the Ford Fiesta remains on top despite deliveries down 6% to 7.990 ahead of the Vauxhall Corsa up a solid 15% to 5.606. The Vauxhall Astra finally takes advantage of the new generation with sales up a stunning 55% to 4.939, earning the nameplate its first podium ranking since February 2014. The Astra takes the lead of its segment this month, with the Ford Focus down 30% to #4 and the VW Golf down 7% to #6. The locally-produced Nissan Qashqai posts a splendid 19% gain to 4.527 sales in 5th place, the VW Polo is up 14% to #7 and the Vauxhall Mokka up 20% to #8. Finally, July 2016 is the first month in UK history that Mercedes manages to places two nameplates inside the monthly Top 10: the C-Class ranks 9th with 3.040 sales and the A-Class surges 42% to break into the UK Top 10 for the very first time at #10 and 3.015 units.

Previous post: UK First Half 2016: Record volume but Brexit brings cloudy horizon

Previous month: UK June 2016: Brexit triggers 2nd year-on-year drop in 4 years

One year ago: UK July 2015: Mercedes up 21% to #5 in more muted market growth

Full July 2016 Top 10 models and Top 40 All-brands below.

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UK First Half 2016: Record volume but Brexit brings cloudy horizon

Ford Mustang UK June 2016. Picture courtesy Mustang – Ford remains the #1 brand in the UK but drops 3%.

* NOW UPDATED with the Top 120 models and Top 40 brands *

The First Half 2016 sales results for the UK are brilliant: up 3% to 1.420.636, the highest-ever 6 month-result in the history of automobile in the country. However, as we pointed out in our study UK: Brexit means no sales record in 2016 and production uncertainty, the chances of a second consecutive record year in the UK are near-to-none. Barely a week after the country voted to exit the European Union, the UK market posted its 2nd year-on-year decline in 4 years in June – the first was last November. The 2nd half of the year will be a difficult and uncertain one for UK sales as the market finds a new equilibrium outside the EU, both in terms of production and private consumer behaviours.

Mercedes C Class UK June 2016. Picture courtesy sales are up 18% year-on-year in the UK so far in 2016. 

Meanwhile we are witnessing a fragmentation of the market brand-wise, with the Top 3 best-sellers each losing volume and almost one percentage point of share market year-on-year: Ford is down 3% to 171.192 and 12.1%, Vauxhall down 7% to 132.947 and 9.4% and Volkswagen is the hardest hit at -9% to 109.566 and 7.7%. The podium accounts for 29.2% of the UK market over H1 2016 vs. 31.9% a year ago. Reversely, the three luxury brands coming next in line all display arrogant health: BMW is up 14% to overtake Audi (+4%) in 4th place with 6.4% share while Mercedes is up an even more impressive 18% to 6.2%. Below, Nissan (-6%), Peugeot (-4%), Toyota (+1%) and Hyundai (+3%) all display declining or – at best – identical market shares compared to a year ago. Further down, Honda (+17%), Land Rover (+18%), Renault (+21%), Jeep (+42%), Smart (+63%), Jaguar (+68%), Ssangyong (+74%) and Infiniti (+157%) are among manufacturers frankly outpacing the market.

Vauxhall Mokka UK June 2015. Picture courtesy Vauxhall Mokka breaks into the YTD Top 10. 

Model-wise, the Ford Fiesta is headed straight towards an 8th consecutive year in pole position despite sales down a harsh 11% to 63.833. Yet that’s a better hold than the Vauxhall Corsa (-15%) and Ford Focus (-14%) rounding up the podium. In fact, the Top 7 best-sellers – in an order that is unchanged compared to H1 2015 – all lose volume year-on-year in a clear illustration of market fragmentation. The VW Golf and Nissan Qashqai, both at -2%, are the least affected at #4 and #5 respectively. The Mini (+4%) is the first model to improve at #8 with 24.293 units sold, while the Vauxhall Mokka breaks into the Top 10 to reach a best-ever #9 (+5%) and the Mercedes C-Class drops 11% but retains its spot among the country’s 10 favourite vehicles.

Hyundai Tucson UK June 2016Splendid landing by the Hyundai Tucson in the UK. 

Just outside the familiar Top 10, the Mercedes A-Class surges 44% to #11, the Kia Sportage is up 78% to #13 and the Ford Kuga up 18% to #17. The Range Rover Evoque gains 6 spots and 18% to #22, the Hyundai Tucson is the most popular new launch, landing at #26 above the Renault Kadjar at #41. The Vauxhall Viva misses out on a Top 50 ranking for a few hundred units, with the Fiat 500X at #59, the Jaguar XE at #60 and the Citroen C4 Cactus at #69.

Previous post: UK June 2016: Brexit triggers 2nd year-on-year drop in 4 years

Full Year 2015 post: UK Full Year 2015: Market up 6% to record 2.633.503 units

One year ago (1): UK 1st Half 2015: Registrations up 7% to highest-ever half year score

One year ago (2): UK 1st half 2015: Now with Top 360 All-models ranking (BSCB exclusive)

Full H1 2016 Top 10 models and Top 40 brands vs. Full H1 2015 figures below.

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UK June 2016: Brexit triggers 2nd year-on-year drop in four years

Mini UK June 2016. Picture courtesy Mini Harch is up 13% to 5th place in May in the UK. 

* Now updated with the Top 155 models and Top 40 brands *

New car sales in the UK are down 0.8% in June to 255.766 registrations. Although this is still the 2nd best June score ever and it leads to a record first half at 1.420.636 units, it is also only the 2nd year-on-year monthly drop in four years and the question on everyone’s lips is: did Brexit have to do anything with it? Given the Brexit vote happened on June 23, it means that private sales cannot have been impacted, as these typically reflects orders from months before. Yet the end of June is typically a time where manufacturers load up on “artificial” sales such as short-term rentals, demo sales and self-registrations in order to meet half-year targets. So a 0.8% drop in a record environment can definitely mean carmakers have become bearish when it was time to push. Given the market remains pulled up by fleets (+4.5% in June) while private sales are lagging behind (-4.5%), this isn’t very good news for the remainder of the year in the UK, as we already detailed in the post UK: Brexit means no sales record in 2016 and production uncertainty.

June-new-car-registrations-2000-to-present-chartSource: SMMT

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “It is far too soon to determine whether the referendum result has had an impact on the new car market. The first six months saw strong demand at record levels but the market undoubtedly cooled over the second quarter. It’s important government takes every measure to restore business and economic confidence to avoid the market contracting in the coming months.” Brand-wise, Ford (-9%), Vauxhall (-15%) and Volkswagen (-19%) still dominate but all lose significant market share, whereas just below BMW (+9%), Mercedes (+19%) and Audi (+3%) all gain significant ground. Let’s also notice Renault (+38%), Mini (+22%), Honda (+17%), Jaguar (+33%), Jeep (+60%), Smart (+25%) and Infiniti (+447%) all posting very solid year-on-year improvements.

Renault Kadjar UK June 2016. Picture posts the largest year-on-year gain of any manufacturer in the Top 25. 

The Top 10 best-selling models show a paltry figure: 8 of them are down vs. June 2015 including the Top 4 most popular nameplates in the country: the Ford Fiesta (-9%), Vauxhall Corsa (-8%), Ford Focus (-25%) and VW Golf (-11%). Only the Mini (+13%) shooting up three spots on May to #5, its best monthly ranking so far in 2016, and the Mercedes C-Class up 4% to remain in the Top 10 at #10 show positive results. Disappointing scores from the locally-produced Nissan Qashqai (-18%) and the Vauxhall Astra, down 12% despite a new generation. The Vauhxall Mokka is back inside the Top 10 despite sales down 13% to 4.356.

Previous post (1): UK May 2016: Discover the Top 135 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Previous post (2): UK: Brexit means no sales record in 2016 and production uncertainty

Previous month: UK May 2016: Brexit uncertainty cools market growth to +2.5%

One year ago: UK June 2015: Mini and Vauxhall Mokka shine in market up 13%

Full June 2016 Top 40 brands and Top 155 models below.

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UK May 2016: Discover the Top 135 models (BSCB Exclusive)

Mercedes GLE Coupe UK May 2016First UK Top 100 ranking for the Mercedes GLE.

* See the Top 135 models ranking by clicking on the title *

As per the BSCB tradition, after the traditional All-brands ranking and Top 10 models, we can now explore a much more detailed UK models ranking for May: this time a Top 135. Just outside the familiar Top 10, the Mercedes A-Class, Ford Kuga and Vauxhall Mokka all gain two spots on April to rank #11, #12 and #13 respectively. Reversely, the Audi A3 (-4) and Kia Sportage (-6) step out of the April Top 10 whilst still registering solid scores. Reinvigorated by the new model, the Mercedes E-Class is up 11 ranks on last month to #19, the Audi A4 is stable at #23 vs. #33 so far this year and the BMW 4 Series is up 6 to #28 vs. #35 year-to-date.

Renault Kadjar UK May 2016The Renault Kadjar hits a best-ever #38 in the UK this month. 

The Hyundai Tucson (#27) dominates recent launches once again, ahead of the Land Rover Discovery Sport (#33), the Renault Kadjar hitting a best-ever #38 and the Fiat 500X at #54. Further down, the Mercedes GLE breaks into the UK Top 100 for the very first time at #96, the Smart Forfour (#99) is back inside it for the first time since last August, the Seat Alhambra leaps up to #115 and the Jaguar F-Pace drops 26 spots on April to #131.

Previous post: UK: Brexit means no sales record in 2016 and production uncertainty

Previous May post: UK May 2016: Brexit uncertainty cools market growth to +2.5%

One year ago: UK May 2015: Ford Focus and Mini shine, positive run about to end?

Full May 2016 Top 135 models Ranking Table below.

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UK: Brexit means no sales record in 2016 and production uncertainty


The decision by UK voters to choose to leave the European Union after 43 years will trigger a “period of uncertainty” according to BMW, who manufactures Mini and Rolls-Royce cars in the UK. Most analysts including myself agree. After smashing its all-time volume record last year to 2.633.533 units, the UK market is set to fall 4% in 2016 amid economic instability and currency volatility according to Equity analysts Evercore ISI. This is to be compared with a pre-Brexit forecast of 3% growth. Given the current 4% year-on-year increase at end-May, this means a 10% drop over the next 6 months until the end of the year, which is also the decline rate Evercore ISI is predicting for the Full Year 2017, leading to a 2.5% percent fall in European production.

Jaguar F-Pace UK April 2016. Picture courtesy waters ahead: UK’s largest carmaker Jaguar Land Rover, and BMW though its Mini and Rolls-Royce operations.

A June 2016 survey by independent pollster ComRes showed 77% of members of the trade body for the UK automotive sector, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said remaining in Europe would be best for their business. Throughout the campaign, all carmakers with operations in the UK had multiplied the warnings that a Brexit would impact negatively both sales and production in the country. Now that Brexit has become a reality, the industry is bracing for troubled waters ahead. Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The British public has chosen a new future out of Europe. Government must now maintain economic stability and secure a deal with the EU which safeguards UK automotive interests. This includes securing tariff-free access to European and other global markets, ensuring we can recruit talent from the EU and the rest of the world and making the UK the most competitive place in Europe for automotive investment.”

Nissan Qashqai UK June 2016Built in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, the Nissan Qashqai is the #1 UK-made export to the EU.

The UK automotive industry is mainly owned by foreign manufacturers including Nissan, Toyota and Honda, who set up factories in the UK mainly to export to the EU. Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover remains the UK’s largest carmaker, but is followed closely by Nissan, present in the UK for 32 years and manufacturing 475.000 cars annually, notably to hot-seller Qashqai, most of them for export inside the EU. Sunderland in northern England, where Nissan has its operations, was among the constituencies that surprised pundits by voting for Brexit. This quote by AN Europe.

Toyota Auris UK June 2016Toyota manufactures the Auris for the EU in Burnaston, Derbyshire.

Toyota, a local manufacturer for the past 24 years, warned its employees that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU may lead to levies of as much as 10% on the cars it builds in Britain. The Japanese carmaker exports 90% of the vehicles it manufactures in the UK, and 75% of these are sold in the EU. One Asian automaker executive with manufacturing capacity in Britain, speaking on condition of anonymity to Automotive News Europe, said: “We don’t have any choice but to be more cautious with our investment decisions, including moves like whether to produce a new or significantly redesigned vehicle model in the UK.”