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UK July 2021: Toyota outsells Ford, VW Polo signs first win in market down -29.5% to lowest July in 23 years

The VW Polo is the best-selling vehicle in the UK in July.

As stock shortages triggered by the microchip crisis impair sales, the UK new car market sinks -29.5% year-on-year in July to just 123.296 units, the lowest July volume since 1998 (37.896), before the bi-annual plate system was initiated. The year-to-date tally is now up 24.7% to 1.033.269. Private sales (-25.1%) resist better at 59.841 and 48.5% share vs. 45.7% a year ago whereas fleet sales fall -33.4% to 61.140 and 49.6% share vs. 52.5% and business sales are down -25.2% to 2.315 and 1.9% share vs. 1.8% in June 2020. Year-to-date, this time private sales are weaker at +19.3% to 470.539 and 45.5% share vs. 47.6% over the same period a year ago, with fleet sales more dynamic at +29.9% to 542.399 and 52.5% share vs. 50.4% and business sales match the market at +24.2%0 to 20.331 and 2% share, unchanged. 

Source: SMMT

In July, petrol sales implode -45.5% year-on-year to 55.250 and 44.8% share vs. 58% in June 2020 and diesel is down an even more damning -69.5% to just 8.783 and 7.1% share vs. 16.5% a year ago. However alternatively fuelled vehicles continue to rally up. Mild HEV (MHEV) is up 44.6% to 23.510 and 19.1% share vs. 9.3% in June 2020,  HEV is up 15.5% to 14.714 and 11.9% share vs. 7.3%, BEV is up 36.5% to 11.139 and 9% vs. 4.7% and PHEV up 32.2% to 9.900 and 8% share vs. 4.3% a year ago. Year-to-date, petrol sales edge up 0.8% to 497.833 and 48.2% share vs. 59.6% over the same period in 2020 and diesel is down -31.1% to 101.870 and 9.9% share vs. 17.8% a year ago. In contrast, MHEV is up 182.4% to 193.166 and 18.7% share vs. 8.3% in 2020, HEV is up 67.9% to 87.261 and 8.4% share vs. 6.3%, BEV up 117.4% to 85.032 and 8.2% share vs. 4.7% and PHEV up 151.4% to 68.107 and 6.6% share vs. 3.3% a year ago.

The Toyota Yaris is up to a record 2nd place in the UK in July.

Over in the brands ranking, Volkswagen (-20.3%) easily retains the best-seller spot and crosses the 10% share milestone at 10.1% vs. 9.5% so far this year. Sister brand Audi (-15.3%) for its parts threepeats at a record 2nd place with 8.3% share and outsells Ford for the third consecutive month and the third time ever. With Ford (-54.5%) actually freefalling to #4, Toyota (+7.5%) lodges its second ever podium finish after June 2020 at #3. This means Toyota outsells Ford for the first time in UK history. BMW (-31.3%) drops one spot on June to #5, distancing Kia (-14.2%), Mercedes (-33.8%) and Hyundai (+9.8%) securing the only year-on-year gain in the Top 10. Skoda (-15.1%) also resists at #9, pushing Vauxhall (-49.3%) to #10, the brand’s lowest ever UK monthly ranking. Further down and in sales order, Volvo (+0.9%), MG (+30.6%), Suzuki (+22.9%), Polestar (+3762.5%), Abarth (+26.8%), DS (+3.1%) and Subaru (+125%) all improve year-on-year.

First ever Top 10 finish for the Hyundai Kona.

Model-wise, we have an unheard of podium this month. The VW Polo (+3.9%) takes the first spot out of nowhere – or more precisely #6 in June, marking its first ever win in the UK. Its previous best was #2 in December 2018 and it now ranks #7 year-to-date. In 2nd place just 46 units below, the Toyota Yaris (+18.1%) also breaks its ranking record with its previous best being #3 in June 2020. Finally at #3 the Kia Sportage also delivers an outstanding result, up 7 spots on June and its second ever podium finish after ending last January at #2. The Ford Puma is down one rank on last month to #4 ahead of the VW Golf (-40%) and Audi A3. The Hyundai Kona signs its first ever UK Top 10 finish at #10. Leader year-to-date with a 2.694-unit advantage over the Ford Fiesta (-62.9%), the Vauxhall Corsa (-66.7%) doesn’t even make it into the July Top 10.

Previous post: UK Full Year 2020: Now with Top 150 models

Previous month: UK June 2021: Tesla Model 3 best-seller, Ford Puma up to record #3 in market up 28%

One year ago: UK July 2020: Pent-up demand, enticing offers lift market up 11.3%, Vauxhall Corsa leads again

Full July 2021 Top 42 brands and Top 10 models below.

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