skip to Main Content

UK May 2017: Volkswagen #2 brand in market down 8.5%

The Nissan Qashqai now ranks #3 year-to-date in the UK. 

* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 42 brands by clicking on the title *

According to figures released by SMMT, the UK new car market drops 8.5% in May to 186.265 registrations, as the March pull-forward effect of the Vehicle Excise Duty changes is still making itself felt. The upcoming general election may also have had a dampening effect on sales this month. Private sales are mainly responsible for the sizeable downturn at -14% year-on-year to 76.554 units while fleet sales drop 5.3% to 103.657, accounting for 55.7% of the market, and business sales go against the grain with a 20.1% surge to a still discreet 6.054 units. Ignoring the surrounding depressed climate, alternatively fuelled vehicles gain 46.7% to reach a record 4.4% market share. Year-to-date, thanks to an all-time record March figure, the market is down just 0.6% to a still very dynamic 1.158.357 units. Private sales are down 4.2% but fleet sales are up 2.4% and business sales up 5.3%.

May sales 2001-2017. Source SMMT

The brands ranking is once again completely reshuffled. If last month the three German premium brands were the ones shining, this time Volkswagen climbs to 2nd place overall with a contained 2% drop to 8.4% share vs. 7.4% year-to-date. It’s the second time this year after last February that Volkswagen ranks #2 in the UK. Mercedes gains 7% to rank third with 7.9% share vs. 7.2% so far this year and Audi is down just 1% to 5th and 7.4% vs. 6.4% in 2017 so far. Mercedes and Audi assuredly benefit from solid fleet sales this month. Struggling are Ford down 14% to 11% share vs. 12.2% year-to-date, Vauxhall down 14% to 7.5% and BMW down 17% to 6.8%, albeit securing a higher market share than its year-to-date level of 6.8%. Further down, Skoda (+9%), Seat (+11%) and Volvo (+7%) are the only other manufacturers posting year-on-year increases in the Top 20. Below, Porsche (+25%), MG (+33%), Infiniti (+153%) and Abarth (+21%) make themselves noticed with substantial gains.

Model-wise, the Ford Fiesta remains faithful to the pole position, following the market at 8%. It is followed this month by the VW Golf back up five spots on April but down 5% year-on-year and the Nissan Qashqai improving 6%. The VW Polo (+10%), Vauxhall Astra (+7%) and Mercedes C-Class (+13%) also post year-on-year gains while the Mercedes A-Class remains inside the Top 10 at #10 and stays #9 year-to-date. Following another disappointing performance (-17%), the Vauxhall Corsa drops two spots year-to-date to #5, allowing the Nissan Qashqai to lift its ranking to #3 – if maintained until the end of the year this would be an all-time record – and the VW Golf to #4.

Previous month: UK April 2017: Qashqai teases Fiesta, two Mercedes in Top 4 in market down 20%

One year ago: UK May 2016: Brexit uncertainty cools market growth to +2.5%

Full May 2017 Top 10 models and Top 42 brands below.

This content is for Platinum members only.
Log In Register
Back To Top