News : UK sales move forwards in October

Keith Adams

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has confirmed that new car sales in the UK are bucking European trends – in October registrations rose by 12.1% to 151,252 compared with the same period last year. And for the 2012 as a whole, sales are up by 5.0%, forcing the Society to revise its prediction for the entire year, raising it to over two million.

Of the Brits, it’s been a pretty good month. Okay, the figures are skewed somewhat pathetic sales by Lotus and MG (which are too small to be statistically significant) but some impressively strong figures were posted – but take them out of the occasion, and it looks like the home team has exceeded the prevaling market conditions (which posted a rise, anyway). Star player is Land Rover, which continues to shine on the back of the Evoque – as well as all of the positive publicity surrounding the launch of next year’s Range Rover. Jaguar’s lagging behind its sister company, but with the XF Sportbrake about to go on sale, and the F-type a matter of months away, we can see this turning round.

Finally, a word for MINI (above). Here we are just months away from the appearance of the next generation models, and yet sales are continuing to hold up extremely well, with dealers reporting ‘brisk’ business. Let’s hope this positive story for the UK car market continues into 2013.


OCTOBER % Change
MARQUE 2012  % Market share 2011 % Market share
Aston Martin 80 0.05 57 0.04 40.35
Bentley 98 0.06 70 0.05 40.00
Jaguar 845 0.56 713 0.53 18.51
Land Rover 3465 2.29 3044 2.26 13.83
Lotus 2 0.00 4 0.00 -50.00
MG 37 0.02 15 0.01 146.67
MINI 4265 2.82 3302 2.45 29.16

Figures from the SMMT.

Keith Adams


  1. Impressive growth in the market, especially at a time of recession. Due to the availability of good deals on new cars I suppose?

  2. I would normally never consider a new car.
    At the moment there are some good deals to be had on new motors. 0% and big discounts. Skoda for example 0% and 20% (Zero VAT)

  3. I just don’t understand why Jaguar’s UK sales figures are dwarfed by the likes of the BMW/Audi/Mercedes clones from Germany. I would love to see them up at around 4-5,000 a month which, looking at their current offerings, they deserve to be!

    Great showings from Land Rover and MINI (although I suspect the MINI figure is likely to include the Austrian Nasty, in the form of the hideous Countryman). Ignoring the Chinese entry in the British manufacturer’s sales chart for a moment, what on Earth has happened to Lotus over the last few years? It’s such a shame to see it’s all but vanished.

  4. MG sales insignificant but doubled all the same & who would have thought two years ago that Lotus would have sold just two cars in October.

  5. @3Tigger – Its pretty obvious why Jaguars sales are dwarfed by the German premium brands. Their range consists of the XF, XK and XJ. Thats it. Theres no 3 series/A4/C Class, no 1 Series/A3/A Class and its with those cars that the Germans make their volumes.

  6. @5
    The Qashqai as well (3567). A lot of the foreign Top 10 cars have British engines too (Fiesta, Focus, 1 and 3 series)

    What criteria do the SMMT use to include Lotus in its own line, rather than in the ‘other British’ line. Seeing that they sold only 2 cars, were they outsold by Caterham?

  7. @ Still having a field day with exports so who cares?
    The Jaguars on sale are by far better looking and pleasing in the tactile sense than anything german.

  8. Sadly not 1 car on the top 10 list appeals to me.

    Where did the Insignia go? It was a top 10 for a while. At least representing it’s segment.

  9. And this line is a bit cryptic:

    “Petrol and diesel fuel types posted growth in October and over the year-to-date. The alternatively-fuelled car market showed strong growth in recent months, reflecting new model activity.”

    So every fuel has shown growth?

  10. I must admit, I have not seen that many 62 plate cars on the road, and ones I have seen were mostly of Korean manufacture. The trouble is, looking at the jobs front, will this rise continue?

  11. @15
    Working in central London, most of the 62 plate vehicles have been expensive SUVs. Plenty of Evoques of course.

  12. whilst I am a bit skeptical about F-Type’s effect on UK sales, I am convinced the XF Sportbrake will provide a boost to the company in the UK, especially if the push really hard on fleet sales.. Looks like good times are a comin’.. 🙂

  13. @13 Will – Happily for the manufacturers the cars in the top 10 obviously appeal to others! – Saw good news relating to the UK Bus industry as well this week. Alexander Dennis have landed an order for 150 vehicles for China.

  14. @20 The Jaguar XF “a Lexus copy”? Really?! The Jaguar XF looks far more like as Aston Martin!

    I like the idea that the Jaguar XF could be a poor man’s Aston, in much the same way that the MG6 might claim, if you’ve had a few beers, to look very nearly as nice as a Vauxhall Insignia 😉

    The F Type has to be the single biggest styling disappointment in years and this is where I really struggle – I’d prefer a BMW; I’m going to have to sit down for a bit after having uttered that last line!

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