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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%.

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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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