* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 43 All-brands by clicking on the title! *
The UK new car market is the only one in Europe’s Top 5 to gain ground year-on-year in 2012, up a shiny 5% to 2,044,609 registrations, the highest annual tally since 2008. The market lodges year-on-year growth for 11 out of 12 months this year, a performance in stark contrast with the rest of Europe. Thanks to sales up 14% to 109,265 units, the Ford Fiesta is the most popular model in the country for the 4th year in a row and the 9th time overall after 1990, 1991, 1996 to 1998 and 2009 to 2011, to be compared with the Escort’s 12 years and the Cortina’s and Focus’ 10 years at #11. The Fiesta topped the UK monthly ranking 8 times in 2012.
The Vauxhall Corsa is up one spot and 15% to #2 with 89,434 units and 4.4%, its highest year-end ranking since 2008. It even ranked #1 in May for the first time since October 2008. The Ford Focus is up a shy 2% to 83,115 sales and 4.1% but is down to #3, still struggling to regain its prior form (the model was #1 in the UK for 10 consecutive years from 1999 to 2008) but managing to top the monthly ladder 3 times in 2012. Boosted by a fantastic month of December (#2), the Vauxhall Astra is back up one spot to #4, passing the VW Golf at #5.
However the most significant event in the UK Top 10 in 2012 is the 6th place of the locally-produced Nissan Qashqai, up a formidable 3 ranks and 16% on 2011 to a record 45,675 units and 2.2%. This is the highest year-end ranking ever reached by a Japanese model in the UK, beating the #8 spot hit by the Datsun Cherry in 1981. The annual volume record for a Japanese model in the UK however still belongs to the Nissan Micra: 54,175 sales in 1989. Finally, let’s salute the 9th place of the Mercedes C-Class with 37,261 units (+24%), breaking into the year-end UK Top 10 for the very first time and hitting a record #6 in September.
In the brands ranking, Ford leads ahead of Vauxhall while BMW maintains its premium leadership at a fantastic 4th place with 127,530 sales (+9%) ahead of Audi at 123,622 (+9% also). The biggest gainers in the Top 20 are Hyundai up 18% to #10, Kia up 24% to #12, Skoda up 19% to #14, Fiat up 20% to #16 and Land Rover up 29% to #17. Notice also Renault down 40% and 7 spots to #18, Porsche up 25%, Bentley up 22% and MG up 177% to a still shy 782 sales.
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Full Year 2012 Top 10 models and Top 43 All-Brands Ranking Tables below.