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Vauxhall topples Ford as new car sales rise
New car sales rose at their fastest rate in almost two years last month as the Vauxhall Corsa ended the Ford Fiesta’s long reign at the top of the UK best seller charts.
Vauxhall sold 8,413 Corsas, compared to Ford’s 8,337 Fiestas, giving the British brand a rare UK best seller gong. The Fiesta remains the clear leader in 2012 sales to date though, having sold more than 50,000 units compared to Vauxhall’s 38,000 Corsas.
The May new car market overall rose 7.9 per cent over 2011 figures – that’s a growth of 11,857 cars, giving total new car sales of 162,288. This is not only the third monthly increase in a row, it’s also the fastest rate of growth since the scrappage-fuelled days of 2010.
The boost in sales was so strong, it even beat industry trade body the SMMT’s own projections by more than 6 per cent.
“May’s 7.9% increase in new car registrations is good news for the motor industry and the UK economy, particularly the steady growth in demand from private buyers,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.
“There is no doubt that vehicle manufacturers and their dealer networks are working hard to deliver value for money to motorists and the consistent climb in new car registrations during the first five months of the year suggests that confidence is returning, despite financial uncertainty in the Eurozone.”
2012 new car registrations to date are up 2.6 per cent, to 868,166 new cars. That’s 21,653 more new car sales than 2011, with the growth coming over the past three months.
Private buyers are leading the sales growth, with May recording a 14.3 per cent increase in retail sales. The fleet market did recover last month too though, by 4.8 per cent, after declining in previous months.
Looking at the new car sales themselves, the Vauxhall Corsa’s top slot wasn’t the only surprise. Fiat has also managed to retain its top 10 best seller status, with the Fiat 500 once again coming in as the UK’s 10th most popular new car of all – just behind the Vauxhall Insignia.
The city car sector itself was also up in May (by a staggering 85.8 per cent!) as new car buyers continue to downsize.
MAY 2012 NEW CAR BEST SELLERS
1 Vauxhall Corsa
2 Ford Fiesta
3 Ford Focus
4 Volkswagen Golf
5 Vauxhall Astra
6 BMW 3 Series
7 Volkswagen Polo
8 Nissan Qashqai
9 Vauxhall Insignia
10 Fiat 500
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