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UK September 2019: Vauxhall Corsa snaps first win in 5 years in weak market (+1.3%)

The new generation Vauxhall Corsa (pictured) hasn’t landed just yet in the UK, but it’s already had an impact through clear-out sales of the outgoing model.

Whereas all other major European market spectacularly recuperate from dismal post-WLTP year-ago figures, the UK remains plagued by consumer confidence stifled by Brexit uncertainty, only managing a tiny +1.3% uptick to 343.255 units which means the year-to-date tally is at its lowest since 2013 at 1.862.271 (-2.5%). Fleet sales (+8.6%) single-handedly send the market in positive at 168.850 units and 49.2% share vs. 45.9% a year ago while private sales (+0.1%) are stable at 163.173 and 47.5% share vs. 48.1% and business sales continue to crumble at -44.8% to 11.232 units. Year-to-date, once again fleets (+0.1%) are the only channel in positive, but just, at 976.304 and 52.4% share vs. 51% over the same period in 2018, private sales (-2.4%) edge down to 838.078 and a stable 45% share and business is down 37.4% to 47.889.

Petrol sales (+4.5%) edge up to 224.828 and 65.5% share vs. 63.5% in September 2018 while diesel sales (-20.3%) continue their freefall to 77.510 and 22.6% vs. 28.7%. Hybrids edge up 0.6% to 16.932, PHEVs soar 22.6% to 5.179 but it’s EVs that post the most impressive gain at +236.4% to 7.704 and 2.2% share vs. 0.7% a year ago. Year-to-date, petrol is up 2.6% to 1.217.577 and 65.4% vs. 62.1% over the same period a year ago, diesel is down -20.6% to 480.338 and 25.8% vs. 31.7%, hybrid is up 15.3% to 77.921 and 4.2% vs. 3.5%, PHEV drops -29.2% to 22.773 while EV surges 122.1% to 25.097 and 1.3% vs. 0.6% over 9 months in 2018.

Ford (+6.6%) frankly outpaces the market to reclaim the brands lead off Volkswagen at 10.3% and cement its YTD domination. Like a year ago when it broke its all-time UK market share record, Mercedes (+0.8%) produces another outstanding month at 8.86% share, its 2nd highest ever just below the 8.90% it hit a year ago and snaps the #3 YTD spot off Vauxhall (-5%) as a result. BMW (-0.4%) leaps up 3 spots on August to climb onto the September podium whereas Volkswagen (+20.6%), although significantly higher than its paltry year-ago post-WLTP performance, is down 4 spots on last month to #5. Only Kia (+0.5%) manages to be in positive in the remainder of the Top 10, something Land Rover (-0.3%) only misses out on, up 10 spots on last month to #10, the brand’s 4th Top 10 finish in the past year. Further down, Tesla is estimated to rank #26 (-11 on August), while Bentley (+192.2%), Porsche (+174%), Alpine (+120%), Dacia (+74.1%), Seat (+55.6%), Lexus (+43.4%), MG (+35%), DS (+33.7%), Mini (+25.9%), Suzuki (+25.8%), Skoda (+24.5%), Renault (+17.3%) and Mazda (+13.4%) stand out with fantastic gains.

Model-wise, the Vauxhall Corsa (+21.2%) is lifted by end-of-life fleet discounts for the outgoing generation to its first UK pole position in almost 5 years (since December 2014), ending a stretch of 20 consecutive wins by the Ford Fiesta (-4.8%). The Mercedes A-Class (+22.5%) scores its 12th Top 5 finish in the past 13 months and 4th podium ever after September, October and November 2018 (all at #3 also). The Mini Hatch (+19.3%) is up to #4 for what is only its second Top 10 finish in the past 6 months, distancing the Nissan Qashqai (+13.6%), Ford Focus (+28.6%) and VW Golf (+194.4%) all blissfuly outpacing the market. At #8, the Kia Sportage (-7.1%) scores its highest UK ranking since January (#7) ahead of the Ford Kuga (-5.4%) while the BMW 3 Series (#10) reappears inside the UK Top 10 for the first time in a year – since October 2018.

Previous month: UK August 2019: Tesla Model 3 lands with a bang (#3), VW T-Roc cracks Top 10 (#7) in market down -1.6%

One year ago: UK September 2018: Mercedes breaks share record, A-Class on podium, market down -20.5%

Full September 2019 Top 42 brands and Top 10 models below.

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