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Booming British car market hits nine-year high in 2014

Fri, 04 Jul 2014

By James Fallon

Motor Industry

04 July 2014 11:44

British new-car sales continue to rise, new figures out today revealed. In the first six months of 2014, a total of 1,287,265 new vehicles were registered – a 10.6% increase on the same six-month period in 2013 and the highest total in almost a decade.

And the boom is showing no signs of tailing off; during June 2014, new-car registrations rose 6.2% to 228,291 and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders expects the trend to continue throughout the year as the economy continues to bounce back.

Interestingly, the demand for more fuel efficient vehicles has soared by 51.3%. A total of 23,337 hybrids and electric cars were registered during the first half of the year.

Ford’s year-to-date registration of new cars hit a high of 173,554, comfortably more than any other manufacturer thanks to the strong sales of the Fiesta which remains Britain’s best-selling car with 70,153 sold since the start of the year.

Vauxhall and Volkswagen trail Ford with year-to-date sales of 141,609 and 110,666 respectively.

Though sales are up significantly overall, some manufacturers are still struggling - despite the improved economic situation: Chevrolet, Chrysler, Honda, Land Rover, Lotus, Mini and Smart are feeling the pinch in the first half of this year, with the Americans and Mini showing particularly low sales. It’s worth pointing out that the Mini hatch was on run-out, however.

MG, Maserati and Ssanyong will be holding their heads high, posting increases of 833%, 224% and 154% respectively, though their market share remains fairly minuscule.

Elsewhere, Dacia, Jeep and Renault have seen significant increases from 2013, while Lotus has managed to slow down its decline despite parent company Proton’s sales collapsing 93% from 2013. One Proton sold really does mean that the brand no longer operates in the UK.

Check out the full sales chart below to see the winners and losers of the first-half of 2014's new-car showroom war.

By James Fallon