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UK First Half 2019: Mercedes A-Class (+39.5%) and Volvo (+27%) superstars in Brexit-anxious market (-3.4%)

Mercedes A-Class sales are up 39.5% year-on-year in the UK.

15/12/2019 update: Now with the Top 180 models.

Continuing Brexit uncertainty crippling business and consumer morale as well as the auto industry itself as a round of manufacturers have announced they would leave the UK in the case of a no-deal Brexit have done nothing good for new car sales in the UK, down -3.4% over the First Half 2019 to 1.269.245 units. This is the lowest volume at this stage of the year since 2013 (1.163.623). Fleet deliveries (-1%) avoid a starker climate at 671.400 units and 52.9% share vs. 51.6% over H1 2018 while private sales (-3.2%) match the market at 568.046 units and 44.8% share and business sales (-39.3%) tumble down to 29.799. Diesel demand continues to shrink dramatically at -19.4% to just 344.877 registrations and 27.2% share vs. 32.6% over the same period in 2018 with petrol sales recuperating some of the volume at +3.5% to 840.436 and 66.2% share vs. 61.8%. Alternatively fuelled vehicles soar +13.9% to 83.932 units including 49.217 hybrids (+17.2%), 14.923 PHEV (-29.6%), 11.975 EVs (+60.3%) and 7.817 mild hybrids (+159.4%).

The winning brands trio is unchanged year-on-year with Ford (-12.2%) in pole position but losing one percentage point of market share to 10.1% followed by Volkswagen (-2.2%) and Vauxhall (-3.5%) both holding up ok. Mercedes (+1.8%) overtakes BMW (-2.6%) to take 4th place, posting the only gain in the Top 6 and also distancing Audi (-9.1%). Kia (+3.4%) is the fastest mover in the Top 13, Toyota (+0.5%) only edges up but Nissan (-11.5%) and Hyundai (-10%) crumble. Below, Volvo (+27%) is the star of the show, securing the only double-digit gain in the Top 22 and joined further down by Dacia (+36.4%) and MG (+46.7%). But Infiniti (-63.2%), DS (-53%), Abarth (-37.9%), Ssangyong (-33%), McLaren (-27.7%), Maserati (-26.8%), Alfa Romeo (-26.6%), Porsche (-23.5%), Smart (-18%), Subaru (-16.2%) and Honda (-15.4%) are all hit full frontal.

Over in the models ranking, the Ford Fiesta (-23.3%) seems headed towards an 11th straight year atop the annual UK charts despite enduring the sharpest decline in the Top 10. The Ford Focus (+4.8%) surfs on the new generation to snap the #2 spot from the VW Golf’s teeth (-21.1%), the latter also being aggressively hit by the arrival of the T-Roc. Even though this generation is at the end of its (uneventful) life, the Vauxhall Corsa (+7.1%) indulges in the largest gain in the Top 5, overtaking the Nissan Qashqai (-2.9%) in the process. The hero of this start of 2019 is without contest the Mercedes A-Class whose radically improved new generation lifts sales up a spectacular 39.5% to 6th place overall. An alarm bell in June though when the BMW 1 Series, now also spectacularly renewed, is ahead. Although solid (+7.2%), the VW Polo remains at #7, the Ford Kuga (-6.2%) drops one spot to #9 and the VW Tiguan scores its very first Top 10 half-year finish.

Previous post: UK June 2019: Toyota (+17.5%) places Yaris at record #7, Dacia, MG shine in market down -4.9%

One year ago: UK First Half 2018: VW and Seat strong, Mini at highest since 1980

Full H1 2019 Top 42 brands and Top 180 models below.

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