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UK First Half 2017: Mercedes shines, places C-Class and A-Class in Top 10

Mercedes is up 11% and the C-Class up 24% so far in 2017. 

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

A Top 150 models ranking is now available here

The changes to Vehicle Excise Duty, effective April 1, have triggered a pull-forward effect resulting in an all-time record March figure in the UK. In turn, this has led to a First Half total very close to the record sales hit in 2016. The UK market is down just 1.3% to 1.401.811 units, the second highest First Half score in history. Looking into the detail by channel, fleet sales tighten their hold on the market at +1.5% to 728.582 while business sales are up 2.7% to 55.550. Private sales in contrast are down 4.8% to 649.059 and now account for 44.1% of the UK market vs. 45.7% a year ago. All-in-all, a largely artificial performance of the UK market so far in 2017.

Jaguar posts the largest year-on-year gain in the Top 30 at +23%.

In the brands ranking, the Top 3 best-sellers continue to see their combined share drop at 27.7% vs. 29.2% a year ago. If Ford (-2%) and Volkswagen (-1%) roughly follow the market with stable market shares year-on-year, Vauxhall is in great difficulty at -15% to just 8% share vs. 9.4% a year ago. In contrast, Mercedes surges 11% top leapfrog both BMW (+1%) and Audi (+0.2%) to rank 4th overall. Nissan (+8%) and Kia (+9%) impress in the Top 10, with the latter up two spots to #9 whereas Peugeot (-13%) slips out at #11. Land Rover (+7%), Seat (+20%), Volvo (+8%), Suzuki (+9%), Jaguar (+23%) and Porsche (+13%) shine further down.

The Mercedes A-Class breaks into the YTD Top 10 in the UK. 

Model-wise, the Ford Fiesta remains in the lead and is headed towards a 9th consecutive annual win in the UK, despite a 7% drop and being outsold by the VW Golf for the first time in June. The freefall of the Vauxhall Corsa (-21%) has triggered a reshuffle atop the sales charts: the Ford Focus (+3%), VW Golf (-2%) and Nissan Qashqai (-0.2%) all gain one spot compared to a year ago while the Corsa is down to #5. If these rankings were to hold until the end of the year, the VW Golf (#3) and Nissan Qashqai (#4) would hit all-time highs. Helped by the new generation, the Vauxhall Astra is up a solid 14% but remains in 6th place. The Mercedes C-Class posts the largest gain in the Top 10 at +24% and is up three spots to #7. The Mercedes A-Class breaks into the Top 10 at #10 and makes it two Mercs in the Top 10, as many as Ford, VW and Vauxhall.

Previous post: UK June 2017: VW Golf becomes best-seller for the 2nd time ever

One year ago: UK First Half 2016: Record volume but Brexit brings cloudy horizon

Full H1 2017 Top 10 models and Top 42 brands vs. Full H1 2016 figures below.

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