The UK's new car market showed encouraging signs of growth in May, and the Vauxhall Corsa deposed the Ford Fiesta as the best-selling car


The UK’s new car market grew by nearly eight per cent in May, according to sales figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The market was buoyed by strong private sales and a return to growth by the fleet sector, which had been in decline for the previous three months.

A total of 162,288 new cars were registered in May, representing a 7.9 per cent increase over the same month last year, when 150,431 vehicles were sold.

This was the strongest rate of growth since the scrappage-induced rise in June 2010 and was the third, and largest, monthly increase in a row.

“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.

“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.”

In the year to date, new car registrations are more than 20,000 units ahead of 2011, with positive sales figures in March, April and May contributing much of that increase.

The May market was more than six per cent and 9000 units above SMMT’s forecast for the month.

Also notable was that fact that the Vauxhall Corsa deposed the hitherto dominant Ford Fiesta as the best-selling model for the month, and the growth of the alternatively fuelled sector, which swelled by 31.8 per cent as new models came on stream.

UK’s best-selling new cars, May 2012

1 Vauxhall Corsa – 8413 units sold

2 Ford Fiesta – 8337

3 Ford Focus – 6983

4 Volkswagen Golf – 5867

5 Vauxhall Astra – 5433

6 BMW 3-series – 3520

7 Volkswagen Polo – 3228

8 Nissan Qashqai – 3179

9 Vauxhall Insignia – 2949

10 Fiat 500 – 2823 

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa is very refined, stylish and practical. Engines are not so good

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Comments
13

8 June 2012

"alternatively fuelled sector, which swelled by 31.8 per cent". Hopefully this will finally quieten the anti hybrid/battery powered crowd.  They could sit in the corner with the hydrogen crowd and talk about how everyone else is wrong.

    

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

8 June 2012

Good to see the 500 in the top ten! Also quite interesting that the Corsa has pipped the Fiesta to the top post. I wonder why that's happened.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

8 June 2012

Mini1 wrote:

.... Also quite interesting that the Corsa has pipped the Fiesta to the top post. I wonder why that's happened.

I can only think it was the 5 year interest free deal that Vauxhall were doing. You could get a new Corsa for pocket money.  I'd still rather have the Ford though!   

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

8 June 2012
xxxx wrote:

Mini1 wrote:

.... Also quite interesting that the Corsa has pipped the Fiesta to the top post. I wonder why that's happened.

I can only think it was the 5 year interest free deal that Vauxhall were doing. You could get a new Corsa for pocket money.  I'd still rather have the Ford though!   

The 5 year interest free deal has been running for nearly a year now so it can't just be that. Maybe a combination of the interest free plus some good special edition deals on the Corsa.

I would rather have a Fiesta but I found the Corsas I've driven to be quite good, underated cars.

Also interesting that the 3 series is in the top 10 but not the A4, I've seen a lot more facelift A4s on the road than new shape 3 series.

9 June 2012

Mini1 wrote:

Also quite interesting that the Corsa has pipped the Fiesta to the top post. I wonder why that's happened.

The forthcoming facelift/update for the Fiesta has been quite well publicised now, so maybe people are put off buying one at this stage?

8 June 2012

Retail new car sales seemed very buoyant earlier in the year customers were ordering strongly from Jan til end April (Sales figures will have a typical 3 month lag between order and delivery) May orders took a bit of a hit with all the news about Greece resurfacing and Spain needing a bailout - that whole Euro thing will probably need to settle down again / be resolved before a bit if customer confidence returns.

8 June 2012

Nice to see the Fiat 500 in the top 10 list too.
I bet BMW wish the MINI was there...

8 June 2012

...choked with Audis, yet not one features in the top 10?

  • If you want to know about a car, read a forum dedicated to it; that's a real 'long term test' . No manufacturer's warranty, no fleet managers servicing deals, no journalist's name to oil the wheels...

9 June 2012

Sure the Vauxhall boys will love this. i dont quite get how people like the fiesta i find the interior quality to be quite poor mind you i have never quite clicked with a Ford. good to see the Corsa doing so well even after it being 6 years old

 

9 June 2012

Does anyone know if you can view a complete breakdown of the sales figures. i.e more than just the top ten  i'd like to see what models are further down the list. SMMT only show the top ten

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