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UK August 2022: Market edges up 1.2%, Hyundai breaks share record again, VW Polo #1, Citroen C3 hits 1st Top 10

First Top 10 finish for the Citroen C3 in the UK.

In August, new car sales in the UK register their first year-on-year gain since February, although the increase is minimal at +1.2% to 68,858 registrations. August is traditionally a very weak month in the UK as customers await the number plate change of September. The year-to-date overall tally remains markedly down at -10.7% to 983,099 and is down -35.3% on the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. This month, market is pulled up by private sales up 3.2% to 34,865 units and 50.6% share vs. 49.6% a year ago whereas fleet sales drop -1.6% to 32,794 and 47.6% share vs. 49% in August 2021. Much smaller business fleets are up 26.6% to just 1,199. Year-to-date, private sales also go against the market as carmakers prioritise more profitable sales at +3.7% to 522,773 units and 53.2% share vs. 45.8% over the first eight months of 2021. Fleet sales plunge -24% to 437,280 and 44.5% share vs. 52.3% and business fleets gain 8.3% to 23,046 and 2.3% share vs. 1.9%.

Diesel sales for the month are down -12.3% year-on-year to 4,455 and 6.5% share vs. 7.5% a year ago, petrol sales rise 7.5% to 31,652 and 46% share vs. 43.3% in August 2021, MHEV dive -16.6% to 10,854 and 15.8% share vs. 19.2%, PHEV are down -23.1% to 3,884 and 5.6% vs 7.4%, HEV edge down -0.7% to 8,007 and 11.6% share vs. 11.8% but BEV surge 35.4% to 10,006 and 14.5% share vs. 10.9% a year ago. Year-to-date, diesel implodes -47% to 56,693 and 5.8% share vs. 9.7% over the same period in 2021, petrol skids -17.7% to 434,120 and 44.2% vs. 47.9%, MHEV drop -12.8% to 179,769 and 18.3% share vs. 18.7%, PHEV are down -15.7% to 61,680 and 6.3% share vs. 6.6% but HEV increase 18.9% to 113,339 and 11.5% share vs. 8.7% and BEV soar 48.8% to 137,498 and 14% share vs. 8.4% over the first eight months of 2021.

Source: SMMT

Over in the brands ranking, Volkswagen (+1.6%) follows the market to 10.3% share, its highest since August 2021 (10.3% also). Ford (+15.6%) posts a solid month and climbs three spots on July to #2, keeping the YTD pole position for less than 900 sales above VW. BMW (+9.1%) is up one rank on last month to #3 but for once it’s Vauxhall (+43.7%) that scores the largest gain in the Top 10 and climbs 8 spots on July to #4. Audi (-20.4%) and Toyota (-6.3%) are in difficulty whereas Hyundai (+34.6%) breaks its share record again at 6.6% but stays in 7th place. Below Kia (-15%) and Mercedes (-15.1%) skidding down, Skoda (+3.2%) edges past the market growth to close the Top 10 vs. #13 YTD. Just outside, Citroen (+98.4%) surges 16 ranks on last month to #11, with Nissan (+16.2%), Dacia (+108.3%), Mini (+61.4%), Tesla (+92.7%) and Cupra (+144.7%) also impressive further down. 

Model-wise, the low volumes trigger high volatility. The VW Polo (+8%) comes out of nowhere to land in 1st place with 2.8% share and sign its second ever monthly top spot after July 2021. However, due to the overall weak sales for the month, it still doesn’t rank inside the YTD Top 10. The Ford Puma (+4.1%) also rises from outside the July Top 10 directly in 2nd place which is also its YTD ranking. The Hyundai Tucson (+48.8%) brilliantly stays at a record third position while the Vauxhall Corsa (+37.9%) is up two spots on July to #4 and easily holds onto the YTD highest ranking. The VW T-Roc lodges another very strong month at #5, followed by the Ford Kuga at #6. Below, the Peugeot 208 manages its first Top 10 finish since last April (#6), the Vauxhall Crossland its first Top 10 since April 2020, the Vauxhall Mokka its first since last February and the Citroen C3 what is believed to be its first ever Top 10.

Previous month: UK July 2022: Dacia smashes share record, Qashqai #1, Tucson, T-Roc, Audi A1 and Aygo X hit ranking records

One year ago: UK August 2021: Ford Puma scores first ever win in market down -22%

Full August 2022 Top 40 brands and Top 10 models below.

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