Top 10: UK car sales 2016

Numerous ‘experts’ predicted that economic doom and gloom would surely follow when the UK voted to leave the European Union. Well, if new car registrations are a pertinent measure, then they’ve been wrong so far.

Indeed, figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that 2,692,786 registrations were recorded in 2016, the highest ever annual total.

Registrations don’t always equal sales, though. With Private and Business volumes actually down year-on-year, all of the increase came from the Fleet category. And it can be used to hide dealer demonstrators and manufacturer pre-registrations.

Total UK Car Registrations 2016 - By Category
Category 2016 2015 Change Change %
Private 1,206,250 1,208,812 -2,562 -0.2%
Fleet 1,380,750 1,317,570 63,180 4.8%
Business 105,786 107,121 -1,335 -1.2%
Total 2,692,786 2,633,503 59,283 2.3%
Fleet + Business 1,486,536 1,424,691 61,845 4.3%

The country’s ten most popular brands were unchanged from 2015 to 2016. In fact, if Mercedes-Benz and Nissan hadn’t swapped places, the league table would have looked identical.

Top 10: Total UK Car Registrations 2016 - By Manufacturer
Position 2016 Manufacturer Registrations Market Share Position 2015
1 Ford 318,316 11.8% 1
2 Vauxhall 250,955 9.3% 2
3 Volkswagen 207,028 7.7% 3
4 BMW 182,593 6.8% 4
5 Audi 177,304 6.6% 5
6 Mercedes-Benz 169,828 6.3% 7
7 Nissan 152,525 5.7% 6
8 Peugeot 98,529 3.7% 8
9 Toyota 96,746 3.6% 9
10 Hyundai 92,419 3.4% 10

The story for individual models was much the same. Ford’s Fiesta remained unassailable, despite 2016 being the current generation’s final full production year.

The all-new Fiesta is expected to arrive at dealers during the second half of 2017. Provided Ford continues to offer a combination of affordable running costs, decent equipment levels and impressive driving dynamics, then it should have similar customer appeal.

Ford Fiesta Active 5-Door (2017) Front Side
The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta will be launched in 2017.

Compared to 2015, there was no movement in the top five places. Further down the list, the only significant event saw the Mercedes-Benz C-Class displace the Vauxhall Mokka (which has since been superseded by the Mokka X).

Top 10: Total UK Car Registrations 2016 - By Model
Position Model Registrations Market Share
1 Ford Fiesta 120,525 4.5%
2 Vauxhall Corsa 77,110 2.9%
3 Ford Focus 70,545 2.6%
4 Volkswagen Golf 69,492 2.6%
5 Nissan Qashqai 62,682 2.3%
6 Vauxhall Astra 60,719 2.3%
7 Volkswagen Polo 54,448 2.0%
8 Mini Hatch 48,328 1.8%
9 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 44,184 1.6%
10 Audi A3 43,808 1.6%

Related posts:
Top 10: New cars due in 2017
Top 10: UK car sales 2015

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