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UK January 2019: Ford places Fiesta and Focus on top, Toyota Yaris breaks ranking record

The Ford Focus rallies back up to #2 in the UK for the first time since last May, while the Mercedes A-Class stands at a strong #5.

New car sales in the UK endure a 5th straight month of year-on-year decline in January at -1.6% to 161.013 units, the lowest score for the month since 2014. It’s thanks to private sales that the market avoids a steeper fall, as they gain 2.9% to 71.378 and 44.3% share vs. 42.4% in January 2018. Reversely, fleet sales drop 3.4% to 86.559 and 53.8% share vs. 54.8% and business sales implode 33.5% to 3.076 and 1.9% vs. 2.8%. Diesel sales continue to freefall at -20.3% to 46.823 and 29.1% share vs. 35.9% a year ago, while petrol sales gain 7.3% to 103.176 and 64.1% vs. 58.8% and alternatively fulled vehicles soar 26.3% to 6.8% share vs. 5.3%.

UK January sales 2003-2019. Source SMMT

Ford (-15.4%) manages to fend off its most direct competitors by over 3.000 sales this month, holding 10.3% share despite a harsh fall. Volkswagen (+5.1%) follows, ahead of Vauxhall (-3.2%), while Mercedes (+3%) is back above BMW (+6.1%) and Audi (-26.9%) continues to freefall. Toyota (+7.5%) leaps up 9 spots on December to #7, Kia (+9.8%) is up 6 to #8 but Nissan (-12%) and Hyundai (-10.1%) both skid down to round up the Top 10, just above Peugeot (+7.1%), very solid. Below, Volvo (+79.7%), MG (+58.7%), Jeep (+58.3%), Seat (+31.4%), Dacia (+16.7%), Lexus (+13.5%), Mini (+13.2%), Subaru (+12.3%), Citroen (+11.4%) and Ssangyong (+11.2%) impress with spectacular gains.

The Toyota Yaris ranks at an all-time record #9 in January.

Model-wise, the Ford Fiesta (-35%) stays on top even though its sales implode year-on-year, with the Focus (+7%) allowing the carmaker a 1-2 for the first time since last May. The Nissan Qashqai (+11%) rallies back up 7 spots on December to close the podium, distancing the VW Golf (-9%), while the Mercedes A-Class (+12%), Vauxhall Corsa (+20%) and Kia Sportage (+17%) all shine with double-digit gains just below. This is the Sportage’s third #7 ranking in the past 13 months after January and September 2018, its highest ranking remaining #6 hit in July and October 2017. The Toyota Yaris manages to break into the Top 10 for the second time ever after March 2014, breaking its ranking record at #9, while the Mercedes C-Class reappears inside the monthly UK Top 10 for the first time since last May.

Previous post: UK Full Year 2018: Brexit uncertainty sinks market to lowest in 5 years, Volkswagen scores first monthly wins, Ford Fiesta marks 10 years in a row at #1

One year ago: UK January 2018: 10th consecutive year-on-year decline at -6.3%

Full January 2019 Top 40 brands and Top 10 models below.

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