The surprise figures follow a slightly less buoyant sales period for Fiesta since the latest-generation model was launched, although the car remains the best-seller across the year so far, with 75,814 registered compared with the Qashqai’s 53,197.
For September, though, the Fiesta dropped to third, with the Volkswagen Golf moving into second place with 12,800 registrations. In the year to date, VW’s best-seller sits in third place, after Ford’s Fiesta and Ford Focus.
In January-September 2016, Ford had shifted 96,139 Fiestas; 20,000 more than this year. However, the new car market was altogether stronger last year. The Vauxhall Corsa, the Fiesta’s closest supermini rival in terms of sales, is also down nearly 20,000 on January-September 2016, with 46,600 finding homes in 2017 so far compared with 64,925 in the same period last year.
The weaker figures for the UK’s two best-selling superminis goes some way to confirm the industry’s prediction of the decline of small hatchbacks. Meanwhile, the Qashqai remains stable year on year, gaining almost 3000 sales so far this year over the same period in 2016.
A Ford spokesman said that only two of the Fiesta's six trim levels - Zetec and Titanium - are currently available to order, hence the slower sales. The other trims - entry-level Style, sportier ST-line and range-topping Vignale – will become available in the coming months.
In a bumper month for Nissan, the Nissan Juke also managed to clinch a top ten spot in September, with 7757 registrations during the month pushing it into eighth place. Mercedes-Benz maintained its two top ten positions in September, with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Mercedes-Benz C-Class taking ninth and tenth.
A Nissan spokesman said: "The revolutionary Nissan Qashqai created the crossover segment when it was introduced and over the last 10 years has become a UK and Europe market best-seller. A new model was introduced in June with updated design and equipment, and enhanced technology, and its success in September is testament to the Qashqai’s continuing consumer appeal.”