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UK Full Year 2023: First win for the Ford Puma, MG HS tops one month

The Ford Puma tops the UK charts in 2023.

Discover almost 60 years of UK Historical Data here.

30/01 update: Now with a Top 50 models ranking

New car sales in the UK bounce up 17.9% or 289,000 units year-on-year in 2023 to 1,903,054, by far the best result in the past four years. However we remain -17.7% below the 2,311,140 sales of pre-pandemic 2019. Fleet sales are the only channel responsible for the market growth this year with a 38.7% year-on-year surge to 1,041,350 units and 54.7% share vs. 46.5% in 2022. In contrast private sales edge down -0.1% to 817,673 and 43% vs. 50.7% last year. Business sales drop -1.5% to 44,031 and 2.3% share vs. 2.8%.

In terms of propulsion, diesel drops -13.8% to 71,501 and 3.8% share vs. 5.1% a year ago, petrol limits its gain to 13.5% at 774,484 sales and 40.7% share vs. 42.3% in 2022, MHEV are up 24% to 362,129 and 19% share vs. 18.1%, HEV up 27.1% to 238,942 and 12.6% share vs. 11.6% and PHEV up 39.3% to 141,311 and 7.4% vs. 6.3%. As for BEVs, they are up 17.8% or 47,500 sales to a record 314,687 but see their share reduce from 16.6% in 2022 to 16.5% this year. The contrast between fleet/business sales vs. private sales in the BEV segment is drastic. Thanks to tax incentives, 77.1% of BEVs went to fleets this year, whereas only 8.8% of private registrations were BEVs. Indeed the UK is the only major European market with no consumer incentives for BEVs.

Source: SMMT

Volkswagen (+22.9%) confirms its domination and scores a third consecutive (and ever) annual win with 8.5% share. In fact the entire Top 7 brands are unchanged on 2022. Ford (+13.6%) trails the market slightly to 7.6% ahead of Audi (+24.8%) in excellent shape while BMW (+2.9%), Toyota (+7.5%) and Kia (+7.6%) are weak. Vauxhall (+20%) posts a solid result but stays at #7. Nissan (+16.6%) bypasses Mercedes (+8.5%) and Hyundai (+8.3%) to rank #8. MG (+59.2%) manages the largest gain in the Top 23 and climbs to #11 overall. It peaked at #7 and 5.6% share in January. Unlike most other European markets, Tesla (-9.2%) is down this year and falls from #11 in 2022 to #16 in 2023. Volvo (+37.5%), Seat (+45.3%), Suzuki (+52.9%), Cupra (+78.4%), Lexus (+49.5%) and Polestar (+70.8%) shine below.

Model-wise, the Ford Puma (+41.3%) surges three spots to secure its first ever annual win. It topped the charts 6 times this year. The Nissan Qashqai (+1.4%) is knocked down to #2, it ranked #1 in September. The Vauxhall Corsa (+13.7%) is also down one spot to #3, ranking #1 in February. The Kia Sportage (+21.9%) breaks its UK ranking record at #4 but unlike in 2022 it didn’t manage a monthly win this year. The Tesla Model Y (+1%) is down two ranks to #5, coming first in March, June and December. The Hyundai Tucson (+23.8%) improves its ranking record to #6, it distances the Mini (+3.1%), Nissan Juke up to a record #8 and delivering its second ever Top 10 finish after 2014 when it finished #10. The Audi A3 is also back inside the Top 10 for the first time since 2016 while the Vauxhall Mokka is among the 10 best-sellers for the first time since 2015 and the second time ever. Outside the annual Top 10, the MG HS spectacularly topped the overall charts in January.

Below you will also find a Top 10 for BEV models, with the Tesla Model Y in the lead, followed by the MG4, Audi Q4 e-tron, Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.

Now we can share with you a Top 50 models ranking for the Full Year 2023. Notice the MG HS at #13, the MG ZS at #18 and the MG 4 at #24. Although without any model inside the Top 10, #1 brand Volkswagen places four nameplates inside the Top 20: the Golf at #12, Polo at #16, Tiguan at #17 and T-Roc at #20. The Ford Fiesta is down to #15, while the Audi Q4 e-Tron is up to #33, the Cupra Formentor at #38, the Tesla Model 3 down to #39 and the Land Rover Defender at #49.

Previous year: UK 2022: Nissan Qashqai first Asian model #1, Tesla Model Y #2, market down to lowest in 29 years

Two years ago: UK 2021: VW #1, outsells Ford for the first time, Vauxhall Corsa and Tesla Model 3 top market up 1%

Full December 2023 Top 47 brands and Top 10 models below.

Full Year 2023 Top 47 brands, Top 50 models and Top 10 BEVs vs. Full Year 2022 figures below.

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