New-Car Deliveries Off to Hot 2016 Start in U.K.

Alternative-fuel vehicle sales rose 32.1% year-on-year and accounted for a record 3.6% of the market.

Alan Harman, Correspondent

February 8, 2016

2 Min Read
Mondeo hybrid in thick of segmentrsquos 441 sales jump
Mondeo hybrid in thick of segment’s 44.1% sales jump.

The U.K. new-car market continued where it left off last year, producing the best January result in 11 years.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says the month’s sales rose 2.9% year-on-year to 169,678 units.

Private and business buyers drove the growth. Private demand for new cars was up 8.2% to its highest level in 12 years at 73,061 units, while business purchases rose 5.0% to 6,716. Fleet orders eased 1.1% to 89,901 units.

Alternative-fuel vehicle sales rose 32.1% year-on-year and accounted for a record 3.6% of the market. Gasoline hybrids showed the largest growth, up 44.1% to 3,783 units, while plug-in hybrid demand grew 32.3% to 1,592 and all-electric car sales rose 14.1% to 584.

Demand for diesel-powered vehicles, which just retained the majority market share, remained stable, up 0.6%, while gasoline-vehicle sales grew 3.7%.

The Ford Fiesta led the market with 8,353 deliveries, ahead of the Nissan Qashqai (4,839) Opel Corsa (4,803), Ford Focus (4,285) and VW Golf (3,813).

SMMT CEO Mike Hawes says the solid performance puts the new-car sector in a good position to start the year.

“Providing consumer confidence remains strong, we expect a more stable 12 months ahead, broadly similar to 2015 which was, of course, a record year,” Hawes says in a statement.

The SMMT says after a record 2015, light-commercial-vehicle sales fell 4.3% to 21,102 units, the first monthly decline vs. year-agosince July.

U.K. market leader Ford recorded increased sales across all market sectors and with CV sales more than double those of its nearest rival. Its Fiesta small car has been the U.K.’s best seller for seven consecutive years.

Ford sold 22,035 cars in January, up 2.6%, giving it a lead of 6,773 units over its nearest rival.

Ford, entering its 51st year of U.K. CV market leadership, saw January sales rise 0.3% to 6,500 units and its market share climb to 26.9% from 26.1% a year ago.


About the Author(s)

Alan Harman

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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