New car sales up 10 per cent in first six months of 2014

Car dealers
4 Jul, 2014 12:00pm Joe Finnerty

More than a million registered in 2014, the best half year total since 2005

The opening six months of 2014 have seen more than a million cars new cars registered in the UK – the best half-year total since 2005.

The 1,287,265 registrations represents a 10.6 per cent rise on last year while June itself saw 228,291 sales – up 6.2 per cent on the previous June.

It was the 28th consecutive month of growth and that’s not expected to stop, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The total new car sales for 2014 is likely to reach 2.4 million – up more than six per cent on last year.

The SMMT said a consumer demand for efficiency had seen a huge rise in alternatively-fuelled vehicle sales. In the first six months 23,337 have been sold up 51.3 per cent. Meanwhile registrations of pure-electric cars have more than doubled, too.

The Ford Fiesta continues to dominate the best sellers list followed by the Vauxhall Corsa and Ford Focus. Also making the top ten for June – and also the year-to-date – were the Nissan Qashqai, Fiat 500 and VW Golf.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Improving economic conditions have helped propel the UK new car market to a strong first half-year performance.

"Key to attracting consumers is the ever-improving efficiency of new cars. The overall market has risen faster than we were expecting but, after a bumper March, growth is showing signs of stabilising around our forecast level.”

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Strip Europe car sales figures of Ford And Vauxhalls UK figures, and you'd struggle to find either in the top 10. Typical british obsession with Fords and Vauxhalls.

Ford market share continues to slip every year are on the way out slowly dieing unnoticed.

June 2013 Ford market share 14.51%
June 2014 Ford market share 12.87%

VW Company are pulling away at the top.

VW "Owned" VAG group are the No1 seller of cars to Brits in the UK, are losing market share, Vauxhall are closing in on Ford every month sometimes outsell them, are closing in will steal the No2 spot on a permanent basis soon.

VW "Owned' VAG outsell both in the UK now, Vauxhall pulling in more closer to Ford sales numbers every month.

Without the UK market you are right both Ford & General Motors would be bankrupt go out of business without the UK market that makes up the lions share of European sales numbers every month.

Did you read today's headline AutoExpress article "Best selling UK cars 2014?

1. Ford
2. Ford
3. Vauxhall
4. VW
5. Vauxhall

And VW Group dropped the name VAG in 1992.

It's not an obsession it is because they are good sensibly priced cars, they simply would not sell so many if they were rubbish. You can't con that many people.

What i am trying to get across is that it's only the UK that they continually appear in the top 5. In most Euro countries, they don't make the top 10 at all. If you took the UK sales of Ford from the European Top 10, they would dive right down. Just because something sells well, doesn't mean it's any good.Fiesta/Focus buyers aren't really interested in looking around at other makes, they think, oh, they're popular, we'll buy one. Not actually saying they're bad, just over-rated in the UK.

Check newcarsalesblog, you'll see it's only UK they are popular. In rest of Europe, Ford Focus is over 200,000 sales below Golf so far this year. Take UK sales away from that figure, phew...

So Germans are buying German cars? Gag me with a spoon.

GM are 5th and Ford are 6th in Germany, the highest non German owned marques.

With the exception of the semi French Dacia Sandero, the top 10 selling cars in France are all French.

Italy: Ford are 3rd, GM are 5th. Fiat, of course, are 1st.

Spain: GM 2nd, Ford 5th. Renault 1st.

Netherlands: GM 2nd, Ford 5th. Peugeot 1st.

So, people do tend to gravitate to their own national marques, but UK doesn't really have its own mass car maker any more, so the Ford/GM tradition, the fact that they have a big dealer network and a powerful finance/sales/discounting system, strong partnerships with lease and hire companies and other tricks such as fleet discounting as well as dumping cars into the dealer channel do influence the numbers.

I don't think there is anything particularly different about the average UK consumer in its car buying habits.

Not exactly. VW have some silly pricing in the UK, they are more expensive than elsewhere in EU (relative to Ford/GM/French) they are not so well equipped, their servicing costs are higher and their warranties poor, with the likelihood of future repair bombs. VW cars are not so special that they deserve premium pricing. They are ordinary, mediocre.

And a lot of UK people know this, and although we still have some idiots buying VW, many are not stupid enough to be fooled. Hence other marques offering better value have more market share.

NL: VW is # 1, by quite a margin. Peugeot and Renault are # 2 and # 3. .

UK: BMW and Audi have a larger marketshare than all volumebrands except VW, Ford, Vauxhall. Brits fond of Teutonia, freaky!

UK: Renault is clawing back -> plus 50% in June.

Was the Focus not the best selling car globally in 2013? I think the Fiesta was also in the middle of the Top 10. As UK sales are a tiny fraction of global sales, Ford must have put in a very strong performance in many, many countries, not just the UK.

No, 2nd. Corrolla/Auris was best seller. Like I said earlier, Focus is sold across the world, and relies heavily on America/China for sales. What I am trying to get at is if you look at the European sales chart, and removed the UK sales figures for Focus and Fiesta, the Fiesta would be lucky to hit the top 20, Focus would be about 8th tops. In Europe, it's still outsold this year by over 200,000 by the Golf.

VW Group do well mainly because they have a wide portfolio of brands - the real growth has come from Audi, Skoda and Seat, not VW. Focus sales will increase in the 3rd quarter of 2014 when the updated model takes over from the existing one. The Mondeo is also a run-out model due for replacement at the turn of the year, so again current sales will be sluggish.

What I am trying to say is if you took out UK sales of Ford, they'd struggle to hit top 10 in Europe! And Focus was beaten to top spot by the Corolla/Auris worldwide.

Europe sales Figures
May 2014:

1: VW Golf 47,202
2: Renault Clio 27,205
3: Fiesta 26, 875
4: 21,507
5: Polo 20,941
6: Audi A3 16,820
7: Focus 18,522
8: 208 10,075
9: Octavia 17,785
10: Astra 17,370.

Ford look to be doing OK in Europe. They were the second best-selling car brand in 2013, with a market share of 7.3% (-3.6% on 2012) as compared with 12.6% (-3.7%) for VW.

As for Ford only being popular in the UK, I do not think the statistics bear this out. Compare Ford and VW market share in the UK and Germany in 2013:
Ford = 13.79%
VW = 8.96%
Ford = 6.7%
VW = 21.8%
As you can see, Ford has roughly twice the market share of VW here in the UK and VW has roughly twice the market share of Ford in Germany. So VW is massively popular in Germany, actually even more so than Ford in the UK. VW also has about double the market share in Germany that it does in Europe as a whole - exactly the same with Ford in the UK! So, if you were to strip out the VW sales for Germany in the same way that you are suggesting strip out the Ford sales for the UK, VW too would take a big hit.

No one thinks that Ford is doing as well as VW, but a market share of 6.7% in Germany, a market dominated by domestic brands, is pretty good - way ahead of most of the mainstream competition and actually not that far behind the market share of VW in the UK. We all know that VW is now the dominant brand in Europe but Ford is still a major player, particularly so in the UK for historic/cultural resons, and doing reasonably well overall. Look at where the growth within the VW Group is coming from - Skoda and Seat are now the driving force behind the expansion of the group.

No doubt partly because the Golf is a new model and the current Focus is a run-out one. New/updated model = increase in sales, model about to be replaced/updated = decrease in sales!

As for the Fiesta, the UK has always been its strongest market, but then you could say the same for many other cars. Could the Renault Clio, Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3 ever dominate the Top 5 in Germany as they do in France?

Because VW Group have both budget and premium brands, which is where the growth in the market is. They are cashing in on Audi, Skoda and Seat. Ford is just perceived as mainstream so has difficulty in competing - which does not mean that they do not produce good, fairly priced cars.

VW are all about premium and deserve to be top as it's top selling cars are always the best. Why drive a focus or a mondeo when you can have premium luxury alternatives like the golf or passat?

Exactly my point. Superb or Passat over anything in the class, Octavia/golf/a3 over any focus or astra anyday!

VW are not as you put it "premium" (I hate the term by the way) they are no different to Ford or Vauxhall. My sister had had Audis, Mercs etc, they are nice but in my opinion for the money they are not special enough to justify the price. I could afford to buy much more expensive cars than I do (not meant to sound like a boast) but I like value for money. My present car has features on it that would cost loads in extras on some more expensive cars. Sorry but so called premium brands don't float my boat.

Look at my other posts my friend, my comments are tongue in cheek. It's irony of the highest level.