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UK August 2020: Sales swing back down -5.8%, Ford Puma soars to record #4, Kia Niro in Top 10

The Ford Puma is up to a world-best 4th place in the UK in August.

After lockdown pent-up demand was released in July (+11.3%), the UK new car market swings back into negative territory in August at -5.8% year-on-year to 87.226 units, yet still managing the second biggest August volume in the past 15 years. The year-to-date tally now stands at 915.615 units, down -39.7% or 600.000 units on the same period in 2019. As is the case in most of Europe, August summer holiday sales only account for a small percentage of the annual volume and September, a crucial plate change month, will provide a much better barometer of the UK market’s health. We have revised our 2020 UK forecast up from 1.62 million units (-30%) last month to 1.65 million (-28%).

2004-2020 UK August sales. Source: SMMT

Private sales remain almost stable at -1.7% to 39.833 and 45.7% share vs. 43.8% in August 2019 whereas fleet sales skid -5.5% to 45.943 and 52.7% vs. 52.5% and business deliveries implode -57.9% to just 1.450. Year-to-date, private sales are off -35.6% to 434.355 and 47.4% vs. 44.4% over the same period in 2019, fleet sales drop -42.6% to 463.444 and 50.6% vs. 53.2% and business sales are down -51.4% to 17.816. Petrol sales edge down -14.7% to 49.376 and 56.6% share vs. 62.5% and off -44.6% YTD to 543.376 and 59.3% share vs. 64.6% in 2019. Diesel sales crumble -39.5% to 14.296 and 16.4% share vs. 25.5% and -59.7% YTD to 162.097 and 17.7% share vs. 26.5% in 2019. HEV+MHEV is up 180% to 15.043 and 17.2% share vs. 5.8% a year ago and up 34.9% YTD to 135.557 and 14.8% share vs. 6.6% in 2019. BEV is up 77.6% in August to 5.589 and 6.4% share vs. 3.4% a year ago and up 157% YTD to 44.708 and 4.9% share vs. 1.1% in 2019. PHEV is up 221.1% in August to 2.922 and 3.3% share vs. 1% and up 67.7% YTD to 29.877 and 3.3% share vs. 1.2% in 2019.

Skoda sales soar 28.6% in August, the largest gain in the Top 10.

Ford (+0.7%) outpaces the UK market to create some breathing space with #2 Volkswagen (-22.4%) at 12.4% share vs. 10.1% for the German manufacturer. The gap is a lot thinner year-to-date at 9.8% and 9.1% respectively. Audi (-32.5%) clings onto its podium spot despite a ghastly year-on-year fall, with BMW (+10.4%) and Mercedes (+3.8%) rounding out the Top 5 in very solid shape. For only the second time in the past 17 months, embattled Vauxhall (+4.3%) manages a year-on-year uptick to edge up to #6 overall vs. #7 YTD. Skoda (+28.6%) and Kia (+21.1%) score the largest year-on-year gains in the Top 10 by far, while further down Renault (+49.8%), Land Rover (+21.8%), Hyundai (+14.5%), Dacia (+14.5%), Nissan (+12.6%) and Mini (+10.7%) all post very satisfying double-digit increases in this depleted context. Beyond the Top 20, MG (+52.3%), Abarth (+23.7%), Fiat (+22.2%), Dacia (+14.5%) and Porsche (+9.8%) stand out whereas Tesla (-58.9%) celebrates one year of commercialisation of the Model 3 in dreadful fashion.

MG scores the biggest year-on-year uptick in market at +52.3%.

We have two newcomers in the UK monthly Top 10 in August. But first, the Ford Fiesta (-15.2%) reclaims the top spot it holds year-to-date while the VW Golf (-25.3%) climbs back to #2 despite a steep fall and a new generation and the Ford Focus (+26.9%) surges ahead and cements its presence in the UK podium. Cracking both the UK Top 10 and Top 5 for the first time, the Ford Puma soars directly to 4th place overall this month with 2.4% share, after ranking inside the Top 10 of 3 out of 4 UK nations in July. This way, the Puma equals its world-best ranking record, having also hit #4 in Italy in August. Even though it drops 4 spots on last month, the Vauxhall Corsa (+30.7%) continues to benefit fully from the new model and single-handedly pulls the brand in positive (see above). The VW Polo (+14.4%) and Tiguan (+0.8%) also manage positive results and make it 3 Volkswagens in the Top 8. Finally the Kia Niro also breaks into the Top 10 for the first time in the UK in what is shaping up to be a historical month for the nameplate in Europe: it also tops the Swedish charts for the first time and ranks #1 in the Netherlands for the 4th time…

Previous month: UK July 2020: Pent-up demand, enticing offers lift market up 11.3%, Vauxhall Corsa leads again

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

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

UK August 2020 – brands:

PosBrandAug-20%/19Jul2020%/19PosFY19
1Ford10,84312.4%0.7%189,5319.8%-42.5%11
2Volkswagen8,79010.1%-22.4%283,3409.1%-39.3%22
3Audi6,1207.0%-32.5%358,5426.4%-41.8%56
4BMW5,3606.1%10.4%463,3866.9%-39.1%34
5Mercedes5,2346.0%3.8%561,1716.7%-44.4%43
6Vauxhall5,0755.8%4.3%752,4225.7%-52.3%75
7Kia4,1794.8%21.1%842,2594.6%-33.8%88
8Toyota4,1374.7%-1.6%653,3965.8%-22.6%67
9Skoda3,6034.1%28.6%1232,8363.6%-33.5%1113
10Peugeot3,5204.0%-2.4%1131,3623.4%-41.5%1211
11Hyundai3,0763.5%14.5%1426,2022.9%-51.7%1410
12Renault2,8053.2%49.8%924,6722.7%-31.8%1616
13Nissan2,6213.0%12.6%1039,3054.3%-35.8%99
14Seat2,2362.6%-38.1%1527,8603.0%-40.4%1314
15Land Rover2,0422.3%21.8%1333,3963.6%-30.3%1012
16Mini2,0132.3%10.7%1624,7312.7%-35.0%1515
17Honda1,7442.0%-32.7%1916,5051.8%-46.1%1919
18Citroen1,6891.9%-6.1%1816,6361.8%-53.3%1818
19Suzuki1,3951.6%-33.3%2511,0851.2%-57.2%2522
20Volvo1,3811.6%8.9%1723,0372.5%-35.2%1717
21Dacia1,1801.4%14.5%2211,1711.2%-46.9%2323
22Mazda1,1281.3%-25.2%2012,6791.4%-50.7%2120
23Fiat1,0771.2%22.2%2411,3541.2%-43.5%2224
24Jaguar1,0591.2%1.0%2114,3561.6%-38.4%2021
25MG1,0101.2%52.3%2610,5681.2%32.3%2628
26Tesla (e)9051.0%-58.9%3011,0971.2%n/a2429
27Porsche7090.8%9.8%237,0770.8%-13.8%2827
28Mitsubishi5780.7%-19.2%286,2150.7%-46.0%2925
29Jeep4180.5%1.7%292,5050.3%-38.9%3030
30Lexus3680.4%-13.2%277,6480.8%-14.8%2726
31DS1480.2%-20.9%311,2940.1%-43.4%3131
32Abarth1460.2%23.7%321,2730.1%-42.8%3233
33Smart1160.1%-45.3%357100.1%-81.0%3632
34Alfa Romeo770.1%-63.0%331,2020.1%-47.9%3334
35Bentley580.1%-39.6%367470.1%-29.7%3537
36SsangYong560.1%-30.0%348970.1%-28.3%3436
37Maserati560.1%3.7%373590.0%-46.0%3838
38Subaru340.0%-34.6%384000.0%-73.6%3735
39Polestar260.0%new40340.0%new40 –
40Alpine60.0%-50.0%39730.0%-42.1%3941
 –Other British (e)880.1%-27.3% –1,1350.1%-36.0% – –
 –Other Imports (e)1200.1%-16.1% –1,1470.1%-61.1% – –

UK August 2020 – models:

PosModelAug-20%/19Jul2020%/19PosFY19
1Ford Fiesta3,3723.9%-15.2%229,8913.3%-43.5%11
2VW Golf2,5702.9%-25.3%424,3952.7%-37.8%42
3Ford Focus2,3912.7%26.8%325,5172.8%-32.8%23
4Ford Puma2,1282.4%newn/an/an/anewn/a –
5Vauxhall Corsa2,0812.4%30.7%125,1822.8%-27.3%34
6Mercedes A-Class1,7222.0%-8.4%519,3702.1%-42.2%55
7VW Tiguan1,6451.9%0.8%914,4671.6%n/a911
8VW Polo1,4661.7%14.4%714,5121.6%-47.1%89
9Ford Kuga1,4341.6%-19.0%106,2140.7%-75.3%n/a7
10Kia Niro1,4171.6%n/an/an/an/an/an/a83
n/aMini1,3861.6%23.3%816,5281.8%-31.5%78
n/aNissan Qashqai9591.1%-24.5%618,7362.0%-45.7%66
n/aToyota Yaris8701.0%n/an/a13,5461.5%-29.3%1012

Source: SMMT

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