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New Car Sales 2012: Big winners – and big losers

Mon, 07 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800

Car sales in the UK hit a four year high in 2012 with over 2 million registrations. But which were the big winners and losers?

Despite the Eurozone being on the verge of imploding – and the economic outlook on the gloomy side just about everywhere – 2012 has turned in to the best year for new car registrations in the UK since 2008.

We won’t go over the whole pre-reg car debate again (except to say that the latest figures suggest as many as 700,000 of 2012′s registrations could in fact be pre-reg rather than actual sales), but however you break the figures down, car sales (and car production) have been a shining light in a sea of much economic gloom for UK PLC.

Big winners include Bentley (up 22 per cent), Kia (up 24 per cent), Porsche (up 25 per cent) and Land Rover (up 29 per cent), with winners in the ‘Up a lot but from almost nowhere’ category including MG (up from 360 sales in 2011 to 782 in 2012), Infiniti (from 382 to 530) and Ssangyong (from 194 to 875).

There were big losers too, like Alfa Romeo (down 37 per cent), Mitsubishi (down 33 per cent), Renault (down 40 per cent) and poor old Lotus – mired in the Dany Bahar saga all year – which saw its sales drop by 58 per cent to just 137 cars.

But the big sales in 2012 still belonged to the mainstream, with Ford topping the list with the Fiesta and Vauxhall in second with the Corsa, and on the ‘Premium’ side of things BMW took two of the top ten with the 3-Series and 1-Series and Mercedes came in 9th with the C-Class.

Paul Everitt, SMMT boss, said:

More than two million new cars were registered in the UK during 2012, up 5.3% on the previous 12 months and the best result since recession struck in 2008.

Boosted by strong consumer demand, the market grew at its fastest rate for 11 years with innovative, fuel-efficient cars keeping buyers in showrooms. Looking ahead to 2013, we anticipate the market will hold firm, with manufacturers and dealers working hard to deliver quality and value to motorists.

Let’s hope, for all our sakes, Paul’s expectations for 2013 are borne out.


By Cars UK