Despite gloomy economic conditions in Europe and low overall consumer confidence, the UK car market performed well in 2012, with overall sales up by more than 5 per cent, to 2,044,000, a return to 2008 levels. But it was the UK manufacturers and assembly operations that made great gains in 2012 – British-made car’s sales rose by 11.1% in 2012, increasing market share to 13.5%.
Star performer in 2012 is Land Rover. Sales are up to 48,626 from 37,637 in 2011 – a rise of 29.2 per cent. This success is almost entirely down to strong sales of the Evoque, which is now the company’s biggest-selling single model. There’s a very real possibility of Land Rover sales overtaking MINI in 2013 – although its sales rose (to post a 2.37 per cent improvement) from 50,158 to 51,324, it’s a distinctly average performance in a strong market. Jaguar also posted a modest rise to 14,109 from 13,787. Watch the leaping cat in 2013 when the F-Type goes on sale.
As for the smaller players – Aston Martin’s sales fell to less than 1000 (falling 8.98 per cent), but Bentley went the other way, rising to 1267 from 1037, and proving that the ever expanding GT range is paying dividends in UK dealerships. MG Motor UK is crowing about its 117 per cent rise in sales, and that it posted the best figures since 2006, but as it’s still some way from 1000 UK sales (782 in 2012), it means that the MG6 is still a far more exclusive car than the Bentley Continental GT.
Spare a thought for Lotus – despite an F1 bearing the same name winning a race in 2012, sales fell off a cliff, falling by 58.36 per cent to 138 for the year. Something needs to be done – and good news is still some way away yet.
Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that in the Top 10 best sellers for 2012, number four and number six – the Vauxhall Astra and Nissan Qashqai – are British built, and many of the engines in the Ford Focus, Fiesta, BMW 3- and 1-Series are also built in the UK. A good news story all round. The question is – can this momentum be maintained in 2013?
|Top selling models of 2012|
Click through to download the full December 2012 (full year) new car registrations news release and data tables.