* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 40 brands by clicking on the title *
Building on a fantastic 2014 when the market rose to its highest level in a decade, January new car sales in the UK are up a further 7% to 164,856 registrations, the highest January score since 2007. Upset by the Vauxhall Corsa for the first time in 21 months in December, the Ford Fiesta reclaims the pole position of the models ranking this month despite sales down 4% year-on-year to 8,674 units, whereas the Vauxhall Corsa, boosted by its new generation, is up 54% to 6,879 sales, over 2,000 units above the Ford Focus in third place.
We have a surprise in 4th position: the locally-produced Nissan Qashqai is also up 54% on January 2014 to secure its highest-ever monthly UK ranking with 4,676 sales and 2.8% share. Its previous best was #5 hit 3 times in January 2013, June 2010 and July 2010. A sign of the ever-growing fragmentation of the UK market, the Qashqai held a stronger market share each of these times albeit with a lower ranking. The Audi A3 is up 17% to reach a stunning 6th place, its highest ranking in the UK since last August, while the Mercedes C-Class is up to a splendid #7 with 3,534 deliveries, only the third time in the past two years it breaks into the monthly Top 10 after hitting #7 last February and #10 last November.
A 18% year-on-year increase in fleet registrations in January prompted SMMT to dedicate a special feature to this segment. We learn that fleet registrations grew 34% over the past 5 years, from 882,415 in 2009 to 1,178,416 in 2014. The most popular fleet model in January is the Vauxhall Corsa with 3,539 registrations or 51% of its total sales, followed by the Ford Focus at 3,529 (73%), the Ford Fiesta at 3,119 (36%), VW Golf at 3,073 (70%) and Nissan Qashqai at 2,665 (57%). Astounding ratios indeed that show that the 5 best-sellers in the UK owe their ranking in large part to fleet companies, not private buyers.
Brand-wise, the Top 4 best-sellers are unchanged on FY2014 with Ford leading the charge despite sales down 1% ahead of Vauxhall (+14%), Volkswagen (-3%) and Audi (+6%), while Nissan (+26%) and Mercedes (+20%) excel at #5 and #6 respectively. Other great gainers include, in sales order, Hyundai (+14%), Mazda (+19%), Volvo (+34%), Mitsubishi (+159%), Lexus (+50%), Jeep (+67%) and Maserati (+83%).
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Full January 2015 Top 10 models and Top 40 brands below.