* See the Top 10 best-selling models and Top 42 brands by clicking on the title *
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.
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.
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.
Full H1 2017 Top 10 models and Top 42 brands vs. Full H1 2016 figures below.