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UK October 2019: Private sales drag market down -6.7% to lowest since 2011, Vauxhall down -36.3%, Evoque in Top 10

First UK Top 10 finish for the Range Rover Evoque.

Sinking consumer confidence amidst continuing Brexit uncertainty means UK new car sales resume their downward race in October at -6.7% year-on-year to 143.251 units, the lowest October result since 2011, leading to a year-to-date volume down -2.9% to 2.005.522. Indeed private sales are almost solely responsible for the market fall this month at -13.2% to 60.083 units and 41.9% share vs. 45.1% a year ago whereas fleet sales are stable at +0.3% to 79.912 and 55.8% vs. 51.9% and business sales implode -30.3% to 3.256. The year-to-date picture is similar with private sales down -3.2% to 898.237 and 44.8% share vs. 45% over the same period a year ago, fleet deliveries up 0.1% to 1.056.221 and 52.7% vs. 51.1% and business sales freefall -37.1% to 51.064.

UK October registrations 2003- 2019. Source SMMT

Even petrol registrations are down this month at -3.2% to 89.371 and 62.4% share vs. 60.1% in September 2018, diesel sales dive -28.3% to 34.666 and 24.2% vs. 31.5% and Alternatively fuelled vehicles soar 34.3% to 14.231 and an all-time record 9.9% share vs. 6.9% a year ago. These include 7.950 Hybrids (+28.9%), 3.162 EVs (+151.8%) and 3.119 PHEVs (-1.7%). Year-to-date,  petrol is up 2.2% to 1.306.948 and 65.2% share vs. 61.9% in 2018, diesel is down -21.2% to 515.054 and 25.7% share vs. 31.7% and AFV up 15.1% to 140.022 and 7% share vs. 5.9%, including 85.871 hybrids (+16.5%), 28.259 EVs (+125.1%) and 25.892 PHEVs (-26.7%).

Brand-wise, Ford (-0.4%) and Volkswagen (+0.5%) both manage the herculean task of keeping their sales stable year-on-year while BMW (+6.8%) and Audi (+16.8%) score sumptuous gains in the remainder of the Top 5 just as Mercedes (-3.4%) loses speed at half the market rate. In fact just below, Toyota (+3.6%), Nissan (-3.4%) and Kia (-2.4%) also outpace the market, meaning the entire Top 8 does so. So why such a high drop? The main culprit is Vauxhall imploding -36.3% and falling to a worst-ever 9th place with no model in the Top 10, “breaking” its previous low record of #6 hit in October and November 2017, February 2018 and February and April 2019. This also means Toyota, Nissan and Kia outsell Vauxhall for the first time in UK history. Land Rover (-17.1%) also would rather forget this month at #10 while below, Porsche (+391.8%), Alpine (+300%), Bentley (+118.2%), Lexus (+62.9%), DS (+55.5%), Seat (+10.2%), MG (+6.6%) and Hyundai (+4.5%) sign the only other gains in market.

The Ford Fiesta (-7.7%) reclaims the UK pole position off the Vauxhall Corsa (-31.4%) knocked out of the Top 10. The Nissan Qashqai (+45.9%) leaps up to #2, its highest ranking in over two years (since September 2017), while the VW Golf (+5.6%) is up 4 spots on September to #3, earning the #2 YTD ranking. The Mercedes A-Class (+8.7%) continues to be extremely regular at the top, signing a 13th Top 5 finish in the past 14 months at #4. The Ford Focus (+9.2%) rounds up the Top 5 and is up to #3 YTD, distancing the Ford Kuga (+6.8%), Kia Sportage (+1.1%) and VW Tiguan (-22.7%). Finally the Range Rover Evoque breaks into its home Top 10 for the first time in UK history at #10.

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

One year ago: UK October 2018: Land Rover hits ranking record at #7, Mercedes A-Class and VW Tiguan at highest ever

Full October 2019 Top 42 All-brands and Top 10 models below.

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