* 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.”
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.
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 month: UK June 2016: Brexit triggers 2nd year-on-year drop in 4 years
Full July 2016 Top 10 models and Top 40 All-brands below.