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UK February 2020: VW and Golf lead, Vauxhall Grandland X up to record #6 in 11th market drop in past 13 months (-2.9%)

The Vauxhall Grandland X is the best-selling SUV in the UK in February.

UK new car sales slip down -2.9% year-on-year in February to 79.594 units, the lowest score for the month since 2015 and marking an 11th year-on-year drop in the past 13 months. The year-to-date tally is now down -5.8% to 228.873. Private sales are solely responsible for this month’s drop at -7.4% to 34.051 units and 42.8% share vs. 44.9% in February 2019 while fleet sales are stable at +0.1% to 44.075 and 55.4% share vs. 53.7% a year ago. Business sales soar 29.6% but remain minute at 1.468. The Year-to-date, private sales freefall an even steeper -11.7% to 95.753 and 41.8% share vs. 44.6%, fleet sales edge down -1.4% to 128.692 and 56.2% vs. 53.7% while business sales surge 11.7% to 4.428 and 1.9% share. Petrol sales skid -7.3% to 48.247 and 60.6% share vs. 63.5% in February 2019 and diesel sales sink -27.1% to 17.457 and 21.9% share. Electrified vehicles pick up what petrol and diesel left off, with EVs up 243.1% to 2.508, PHEVs up 49.9% to 2.058 and hybrids up 71.9% to 4.154, for a total of 8.720 (+92.9%) and 11% share, slightly lower than the record 11.9% they hit last month but exactly double the 5.5% they held a year ago in February 2019. Mild hybrids account for the remainder of the market, up 251.2% to 5.170. Year-to-date, petrol is down -8.9% to 139.303, diesel down -33.3% to 46.825, EV up 217.8% to 6.562, PHEV up 88% to 6.844, Hybrid up 33.5% to 13.125 and mild hybrid up 268% to 16.214.

Brand-wise, Volkswagen (+12.4%) defies the depleted market context with the largest and only double-digit gain in the Top 6, securing its first UK brand win since last August and only 2nd win in the past 15 months. Knocked to #2, Ford (-18.6%) is hit full frontal but remains a fair distance above BMW (-3.1%) and Mercedes (-5.6%) just as Vauxhall (+4.6%) manages its first year-on-year gain since March 2019 to return inside the UK Top 5 above Audi (-12.3%). Ranking at #7, Toyota (+47.7%) brilliantly posts the largest improvement in the Top 20 while Skoda (+8.1%) shoots up 5 spots on January to land at a splendid 8th position for the 2nd time in the past 3 months. DS (+141.4%), MG (+97.1%), Lexus (+61.1%), Porsche (+36.5%), Land Rover (+33.5%), Abarth (+23.8%), Ssangyong (+21.2%), Fiat (+14.9%), Nissan (+12.8%) and Seat (+10.9%) post the largest gains further down.

First ever Top 10 finish in the UK for the BMW 5 Series.

Model-wise, the VW Golf (+43.4%) is propelled to #1 for the second time in the past 3 months, likely by hefty discounts on the outgoing generation. The Ford Fiesta (-8.1%) is knocked down to #2 while the Ford Focus (+8.9%) posts a solid year-on-year gain but also drops one spot on January to #3. The Vauxhall Corsa (+43.3%) continues to be totally rejuvenated by its new generation, responsible for the brand’s gain this month alongside a newly strong Vauxhall Grandland X scoring a third consecutive Top 10 finish, up 4 spots on January to hit a record #6 and becoming the most popular SUV in the UK for the first time in history. There’s another exploit further down: just as the BMW 3 Series holds onto a YTD Top 10 spot at #9 thanks to its performance in January (#8), its larger sibling the 5 Series simply scores its first ever UK Top 10 month at #10.

Previous post: UK Full Year 2019: Now with Top 215 models

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

One year ago: UK February 2019: Suzuki (+77.2%), VW (+13.1%) shine, Ford Ecosport breaks into Top 10, sales up 1.4%

Full February 2020 Top 40 All-brands and Top 10 models below.

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