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UK Full Year 2020: Market hit -29.4% by two lockdowns, Ford Fiesta teased by Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Puma and Volvo XC40 in Top 10

The Volvo XC40 breaks into the UK Top 10 for 2020.

Discover 55 years of UK Historical Data here.

Under the impact of two separate Covid-19 lockdowns, new car sales in the UK fall -29.4% year-on-year in 2020 to 1.631.064 units, the lowest annual tally since 1992 (1.594 million). Private sales resist better at -26.6% to 747.507 units and 45.8% share vs. 41.1% in 2019, while fleet sales drop -31.1% to 849.309 and 52.1% share vs. 53.3%. Business sales flounder -43.3% to 34.248 and 2.1% share vs. 2.6%. Looking at fuel types, petrol sales are off -39% to 903.961 and 55.4% share vs. 64.1% a year ago, diesel is down -55% to 261.772 and 16% share vs. 25.2%, Mild Hybrid (MHEV) soars 137.4% to 180.132 and 11% share vs. 3.3% last year, HEV is up 12.1% to 110.117 and 6.8% share vs. 4.3%, BEV up 185.9% to 108.205 and 6.6% share vs. 1.6% and PHEV up 91.2% to 66.877 and 4.1% share vs. 1.5%.

UK sales 2004 – 2020. Source: SMMTVolkswagen is fast catching up on Ford in the brands ranking.

In the brands ranking, Ford (-35.3%) loses almost one percentage point of share to just 9.4% and is now feeling the heat from Volkswagen (-26.1%) at 9.1% and less than 4.500 units below vs. over 35.000 a year ago… VW was the #1 brand in the UK in February, March and December. Despite losing more ground than the market and therefore share also, BMW (-32%) overtakes Mercedes (-35.5%) to climb on the podium at #3. Audi (-22.4%) passes Vauxhall (-40.3%) to #5 and Toyota (-12.7%) scores the best hold in the Top 10 but remains at #7 above Nissan (-22.1%), Kia (-27.5%) and Skoda (-21.8%) all gaining market share year-on-year. The success story of the year is Tesla (+126.3%) which ranked #1 brand in locked down April, #10 in May and #8 in December. The only other gainer in 2020 is MG (+40.8%) while Porsche (-6.4%) is the only brand dropping by single-digits.

The Tesla Model 3 topped the UK charts in April, May and December 2020.

The Ford Fiesta (-36.8%) drops even faster than the market but remains the best-selling vehicle in the UK for the 12th consecutive year despite ranking #1 during just two months: in January and August. It even fell to a paltry 8th place in November. In contrast, the Vauxhall Corsa (-14.7%), boosted by a new generation, posts the best hold atop the charts and gains two spots on 2019 to land in 2nd place overall, less than 3.000 units below the Fiesta. Could 2021 finally be the year a Vauxhall tops the UK charts? The Corsa did dominate the 2nd half of the year, ranking #1 in June, July, September and November. The VW Golf (-26.9%) is bumped down to #3, topping the charts in February and March and followed by the Ford Focus (-30.5%).

First ever UK monthly pole position for the Mercedes A-Class in October.

Staying at #5, the Mercedes A-Class (-30%) secured its first ever UK monthly win in September. There are two newcomers in the annual Top 10: for its first year in market, the Ford Puma lands directly at #9, peaking at #4 in August and #5 in October. The Volvo XC40 soars 62% and 40 spots year-on-year to #10, peaking at #6 in May and October. Even though it doesn’t make it into the 2020 Top 10, the Tesla Model 3 managed to top the UK charts outright for no less than 3 months: in April, May and December. Finally, notice the VW ID.3 up to #4 in December, its first UK Top 10 finish.

Previous month: UK November 2020: Vauxhall Corsa reclaims lead in market hampered -27.4% by lockdown

Previous year: UK 2019: Ford, Volkswagen, Mercedes dominate weakest market in 6 years

Two years ago: UK 2018: Brexit uncertainty sinks market to lowest in 5 years, Volkswagen scores first monthly wins, Ford Fiesta marks 10 years in a row at #1

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

Full Year 2020 Top 43 All-brands and Top 10 models vs. Full Year 2019 figures below.

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