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UK April 2013: Fiat 500 up to highest ever 8th place

Fiat 500 UK 2013Fiat 500

* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 44 All-brands by clicking on the title! *

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Simply breathtaking. That’s what the continuous growth of the UK new car market really is, now celebrating its 14th consecutive month of year-on-year gain in April at +15% to 163,347 registrations, all this in a very depressed European context. Even more impressive, this best April score since 2008 is lifted by private sales, up a huge 32% year-on-year! The year-to-date total stands at 768,555 units, up a brilliant 9% over 2012. The Ford Fiesta holds onto its newly reacquired pole position but sees its market share slip down to 4.9% at 8,083 units.

Audi A3 UK April 2013Audi A3

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Like last month, the Fiesta is followed by the Vauxhall Corsa (3.7%), Ford Focus (3.6%), VW Golf (3.2%), Vauxhall Astra (2.6%), Nissan Qashqai (2.3%) and VW Polo (2.2%). A very stable ranking indeed. The Fiat 500 is back within the Top 10 for the first time since last June and manages to reach a best-ever #8 with an excellent 3,037 sales and 1.9%. It is its 7th Top 10 month in the country after October 2009 (#10), December 2009 (#9), January 2010 (#10), April 2012 (#10), May 2012 (#10) and June 2012 (#10).

Nissan Juke UK April 2013Nissan Juke

Another rare appearance in the UK Top 10 this month is the Audi A3 at #10 with 2,935 units and 1.8%. The last time the A3 was among the 10 most popular cars in the country was last August. Finally, even though it hasn’t ranked in the Top 10 for the last 2 months, the Nissan Juke manages to improve its year-to-date position to a best-ever #9 thanks to 12,788 sales and 1.7%. In the brands ranking, Dacia continues to impress, selling as many units in April alone (2,016) than in the last 3 months combined (1,978) and now up to #21 in-between Volvo and Mazda…

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Previous post: UK January-March 2013: Discover the Top 328 best-sellers!

Previous month: UK March 2013: Ford Fiesta reclaims top spot

One year ago: UK April 2012: Fiat 500 in Top 10 for the first time in over 2 years

Full April 2013 Top 10 models and Top 44 All-brands Ranking Tables below.

UK April 2013 – models:

1Ford Fiesta8,0834.9%142,3925.5%11
2Vauxhall Corsa6,0843.7%230,6454.0%32
3Ford Focus5,9443.6%331,0254.0%23
4VW Golf5,2833.2%421,0092.7%55
5Vauxhall Astra4,2442.6%521,4462.8%44
6Nissan Qashqai3,7612.3%618,3622.4%66
7VW Polo3,6302.2%715,3832.0%78
8Fiat 5003,0371.9%n/a12,6541.6%1011
9Peugeot 2082,9751.8%914,0831.8%833
10Audi A32,9351.8%n/a9,9721.3%1612
Nissan Juke2,7781.7%n/a12,7881.7%916

UK April 2013 – brands:

16Land Rover3,48332%1122,24821%1317
21Dacia2,016new263,994new25 –
29Alfa Romeo445-30%301,931-34%2927
36Aston Martin9851%36357-3%3635
44Saab2-91% –3-98%4441
 –Other British10144% –287-15% – –
 –Other Imports941% –309-13% – –


This Post Has 36 Comments
  1. FIAT today is 7th most reliable engine manufacturer (4th European) and 2nd most reliable european car manufacturer in general after Skoda. Source: Warranty Direct

  2. Well said, Fiat cars are not perfect, but they don’t rust like they used to, all cars have problems from time to time, people buy what they want and Britain likes the 500

  3. @coolcat
    Let’s stay serious, the rust problems from Fiat were solved end of the nineties. You see this problems on Ford cars, VW cars and especially Mercedes cars(big rust-skandal with Mercedes cars which were built from 2003-2006 approx,you can read this everywhere…)but not anymore on Fiat-cars. And i’m sorry to contradict you, but number 1 in A-segment is still Fiat with Fiat500 and Panda and not VW with their up,mii,citigo. Fiat sell more than double of their 500/panda as VW with their up/mii/citigo…look the data and you will see that im right(in all Europe obviously)

  4. My own experiences of Fiat have been mixed -I’ve had 4 – one did 40,000 miles in one year driving back and forth across Europe, and apart from early onset of rust, was generally reliable. Two Uno’s, the last was a 1995 model, very reliable, but again, at 8 years old was rusting, and another old er Fiat, a Regatta, very nice to drive, had a lovely driving position and was reliable. None made me feel special though. None were well built either. But then that was the Fiat of 20 years ago. Nowadays, admittedly, reliability is better, but not as good as it could be, and the cars are like marmite – love them or hate them. The up/Citigo/Mii trio has taken the crown of the best City car, that’s unanimous. Not hating on Fiats, but they used to build the best small cars, but not any more. I would love to see a nice small Fiat again, but not the 500 or Panda.

  5. @tengil
    maybe because your brain lives still in the nineties and you love to pay more for a non existing reliability…keep on do that!

  6. @mv
    Yes, of course. People, who are not satisfied with a certain brand, certainly do not change to Fiat, that’s my (long-term) experience.

  7. @coolcat
    I don’t own a 500, but I know quite many people who do or did and what I’ve been told about reliability isn’t really alarming. For example my cousin only reported some rust on the boot sides. I don’t think its bad comparing to other small and cheap cars.
    Then you said its feminine, well its not my ideal carbu i dont think its too bad to see some coloured cars in the streets with the usual grey golfs (like the one i happen to drive :))
    The twinair then won the engine of the year award, i am not an engineer (yet :)) or an expert, but this is not to be sneezed at in my opinion

  8. @Misha
    Couldn’t agree more. Lexus is just a souped-up Toyota, a marketing concoction like Haagen-Dazs which nevertheless has fooled Americans into thinking it stands for ‘premium’. Outside of N America however Lexus is not taken seriously by the buying public and its sales figures reflect that – it has failed to make any proper headway against the German trio for the past 24 years on the world stage.

    How long will they keep banging their heads against the wall before they throw in the towel?

  9. Some people here think that they know something about cars, but how can they compare Fiat today with Fiat 10-15 years ago?? Marchionne came 2005 and he puts billions in the quality and Fiat-cars since 2005 are really built better than all french cars together and Opel and Ford too… Various statistics are confirmimg this, ADAC, Auto-Bild Zuverlässigkeits-Statistik, JD etc etc, these are facts !! Regarding the Fiat 500 and the Panda, we have these 2 cars in our family and their reliability and quality are much better then the VWs and Opel we had before, so no doubts, Fiat is better nowadays. And the experiences is confirmed from lot of people I know, they change their attitude regarding Fiat-cars and was surprised how good they are now(Most of them were VW drivers in the past and they changed cars because they were not happy with VW quality (VW is only making good Marketing,but their reliability is not so high as what lot of people think)

  10. Lexus are really intended for the US, however in the first four months of the year 2,770 of them were sold in the UK and only 490 in Germany, when it comes to premium brands Europeans mostly think German.

  11. @coolcat
    That Fiats in the past were not quality leaders, comes as no surprise. Some of them were plain rubbish, that’s right. But the 500 and Panda are actually way better than their name (and the horror of the Fiat brand) may lead to believe.
    By the way, I see that the 2012 Auto Express Driver Power ranks the 500 and Panda as 81st and 87th, which is not an outstanding performance, but still comparable, for example, to Bmw 1-Series, Mini and Volkswagen Polo (and anyway not 142nd and 143rd 😉 ). An important indication, anyway, is that the score is 82/100 and 81/100, while the winner of the ranking is the Skoda Yeti at 92/100: I don’t see this enormous difference. @Bernard is right: nowadays cars are usually reliable enough, and those big faults of the past mostly do not exist any longer (I said mostly, eh)
    You can still claim the 500 is a smoking pile of s**t, it’s your opinion of course; but I have the sense that some of the claimings are still bound to a prejudiced idea of Fiat.

  12. @Dario

    I have never liked Lexus either, overpriced Toyotas. Having owned Fiats in the past, their quality is way below that of most other makes, and the 500 is simply appalling – jittery ride quality, very feminine for a man to be driving, and the amount of complaints about the poor mpg from the twinair engine is quite alarming. Auto Express driver power survey – owners rate their cars in all areas, so at 142nd, they must either all be lying and saying they are awful, or likely, they are all telling the truth. It’s the same story with Whatcar magazine and jd power and which etc – always at the bottom of the pile along with vauxhall/opel.

  13. 500 is the ultimate city car. Its competition looks cheep and it lacks style and chic. Also, I heard that Panda 4×4 is serious little offroad car.

  14. Dear coolcat fiat 500 and mini are icons cars that have made the history of motoring in europe . They both did marvellous retro models and they deserve this commercial success! I’ m sure they will sell for many years

  15. @coolcat @max
    the fact is: a 500 makes you look cool and young (even if you are a 50 years old lady), while a lexus makes you look like a weird

  16. Reliability isn’t as big a factor as it used to be. All brands have made huge progress, and they all buy their components from the same suppliers anyway.

    The least reliable car of 2013 would have ranked as one of the most reliable of 1993, and as better than the best of 1983. My “bullet proof” 1980s Corolla had more problems in its 10 year life (exhaust, water pump, suspension, steering, transmission, carburetor, radiator, head gasket, rust) than the worst of today’s cars.

  17. @Max
    Max, I agree with you on the fact that Lexus are underrated in Europe and they should sell more than they actually do, but I don’t understand one thing about your post: you claim that “English don’t know anything about cars” and (I assume it is an explanation of your position) “90% of the people (especially europeans) buy their new car just judging if it is snappy or not”, but then, in the same post, you find it weird that more people buy an Audi A3 instead of a Lexus CT when the Lexus has “innovative styling vs 2003 styling”. But isn’t this a bit of a contradiction? If the Brits are buying cars because of their snappy look, why aren’t they buying the CT in droves because of its innovative style? I think I understand that the picture is broader than that, but I still think this is a contradiction.


  19. The only english man wich I respect in the automotive is J.C “The LFA is the best I’ve Ever Driven”,well said.

  20. Totally agree with Coolcat (and i’m italian): English don’t know anything about cars. Look Toyota and Lexus numbers are simply ridicule compared to the highest quality of theri products: A car like the audi a3 (let’s forget the fact that audi’s are overpriced VW) sells 4 times more than the whole Lexus line up says it all, the CT is way better than the A3, same handling, better fuel efficiency, innovative styling vs 2003 styling (i can’t see any difference between the 2003 a3 and the 2013 model except for the tailights), reliability,there’s no comparison, and for assistance and serivices…audi vs lexus…lol seriously? and by the way audi’s have the highest costs of mainteinance….then someone here talks aganist Reliability Survey’s? The 90% of the people (especially europeans) buy their new car just judging if it is snappy or not. Look the american market: Lexus sells almost double than Audi and Toyota is a juggernaut compared to VW.

  21. @coolcat:

    It’s simple, because reliability survey are not reliable! One Millions of 500 sold in less than 5 year worldwide simply prove that people could not be wrong. If one man judge a car from a ‘reliability survey’, well, that’s the man who don’t know anything about cars…

  22. VW Golf seems to be getting quite close to the Ford Focus, which is the strongest model in the compact-class at the moment. The Astra still is ahead of the Golf YTD, but not in april.

  23. @Marc-It
    Well, Marc (italiano anche tu, neh?:D), it is not fair to dismiss the Octavia either, nor any other cars that push more on the “rationality” button rather than style or striking lines.

    To each its own.


    Please if You don’t understand why a Fiat500 (or more Mini etc) can be in this good position, is only because for You car is only “a box with wheels”- Sorry, not, cars are ever one of the most desired things by people in any segment of class and money. FIat 500 is the most desiderable and distinctive object of his segments and nice english people prefeers this respect to some YOUR “box with wheels” like so many VW or Skoda. Keep Your Octavia and not try to understand why some people are so “creative” and “crazy” to take true cars for emotion 🙂

    coolcat :
    I cannot understand why so many people buy the 500 – it seems to be bought by people that know nothing about cars, just buy it because it is a cartoon car. 142ND and 143RD places for that and Panda in a reliability survey last month doesn’t exactly speak volumes for it, just shows how ill-informed the uk buying public is and how some still buy because of the shape rather than how good a car is.

  25. @coolcat
    Well, if you look at the ADAC Pannenstatistik 2012, the Fiat 500 was #6 which means mid-chart, better than the C1 or the fortwo for example. And in 2011 the Fiat 500 was #2. So now? People buy whatever they prefer, and based on your assumptions the Honda Jazz is a complete POS because it was the last in its class, according to ADAC. Are those who bought an Honda Jazz ill-informed as well, or do they belong to another category? People sometimes buy cars based only on style, yes it happens. I don’t see anything wrong with it.

    Just out of curiosity, what’s the source of that reliability survey? You should know well that sometimes those kind of surveys give exactly opposite results.

  26. I cannot understand why so many people buy the 500 – it seems to be bought by people that know nothing about cars, just buy it because it is a cartoon car. 142ND and 143RD places for that and Panda in a reliability survey last month doesn’t exactly speak volumes for it, just shows how ill-informed the uk buying public is and how some still buy because of the shape rather than how good a car is.

  27. I have just been in England for a week and I missed the english cars in the street-live. Compared to times 30 years ago there were no Austins, Rovers and so on. Just a couple of Minis and from time to time (very rare) a Bentley or a Rover 75 or 25. The streets are dominated by french, german and italian cars, also some Volvos.

  28. Great to see the Brits continue their love story with the Fiat 500! It’s heartwarming to see an Italian product being so successful abroad…

  29. The UK car market is going crazy, officially we are not in recession but the economy is not as strong as it should be, interesting figures, we love the Fiat 500 and Panda sales are apparently at their best ever, good news for Renalt at last and Dacia are doing amazingly well and Land Rover just gets stronger and stronger, there must be money somewhere, I can’t understand why BMW are down, they make some great cars (3 Series especially), thanks again for the blog. Could Dacia be in the the Top 20 by the end of the year?

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