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UK January 2020: Market down -7.3% to weakest in 7 years, electrified vehicles up 61.5% to record 11.9% share

Vauxhall Corsa sales surge 41.2% year-on-year in January on the new gen.

15/03 update: Now with the Top 120 models.

January new car sales in the UK are down -7.3% to 149.279 units, the weakest tally for the month in 7 years, adding up to a 10th month of year-on-year decline in the past 12. As it has also been the case in other main European markets such as France, Italy and Spain, private sales fall off a cliff this month at -13.9% to 61.717 and a meagre 41.3% share vs. 44.5% a year ago in January 2019, while fleet deliveries resist much better at -2.2% to 84.618 and 56.7% share vs. 53.7% and business sales edge up 4.2% to 2.944 and 2% share vs. 1.8%. If petrol sales (-9.5%) fall slightly faster than the market at 91.836 and 61.5% share vs. 63% in January 2019, diesel sales (-36%) continue to freefall at 29.605 and 19.8% vs. 28.7%, scoring their lowest share since 2000 and enduring a 34th straight drop. In contrast, green cars are on a roll: hybrids gain 20.6% to 8.941 and 6% share vs. 4.6% a year ago, PHEVs soar 111.1% to 4.788 and 3.2% share vs. 1.4% and EVs shoot up 203.9% to 4.054 and 2.7% share vs. 0.8%. All-in-all, electrified vehicles are up 61.5% to 17.783 and an all-time record 11.9% share vs. just 6.8% in January 2019.

Ford (-1.5%) brilliantly limits its fall to lift its share to 11% vs. 10.2% over the FY2019, distancing Volkswagen (-0.2%) almost immobile and up to 8.8% share. Mercedes (-9.1%) overtakes BMW (+5.5%) to reclaim the #3 spot it held over FY2019, while Audi (+13.1%) and Nissan (+18.4%) post the only double-digit gains in the Top 20. Land Rover (+0.2%) also edges up and climbs back into the Top 10 for the 4th time in the past 5 months, but Vauxhall (-24.6%) and Kia (-24.5%) crumble down. Jaguar (+9.6%) and Volvo (+0.7%) are the only additional gainers in the Top 20 just as Mini (-31.3%), Hyundai (-30.7%), Mazda (-25.7%), Citroen (-21.5%), Honda (-13.8%) and Renault (-13.7%) all fall apart. Gains are a lot more frequent further down, including MG (+144.8%), Lexus (+44.4%), Bentley (+36.9%), Lotus (+28.6%), Jeep (+26.9%), Mitsubishi (+16.5%), DS (+12.6%) and Porsche (+10%).

The Vauxhall Grandland X posts a 2nd straight – and ever – UK Top 10 finish.

Model-wise, Ford places two nameplates in the Top 2 for the 4th time in the past 12 months alongside last February, April and May: the Ford Fiesta (+12.7%) sporting its 2nd win in the past 5 months and Focus (+20.2%) both showing outstanding health. The Nissan Qashqai (+7.9%) is also up but it’s the Vauxhall Corsa (+41.2%) that impresses the most now that the new generation is unleashed. The VW Golf (+2.5%) ensures the Top 5 models are entirely in positive, quite a feat in the current depressed context. The BMW 3 Series (#8) lodges a second straight Top 10 finish as does the Vauxhall Grandland X (#10) but for the latter it is also its 2nd ever Top 10.

Previous post: UK Full Year 2019: Ford, Volkswagen, Mercedes dominate weakest market in 6 years

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

Full January 2020 Top 40 brands and Top 120 models below.

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