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UK September 2018: Mercedes breaks share record, A-Class on podium, market down 20.5%

The Mercedes A-Class scores its first-ever podium ranking in the UK.

* See the Top 43 brands and Top 10 models by clicking on the title *

Back to reality: after growing during four of the past five months, new car sales in the UK fall 20.5% year-on-year to 338.834 units, the lowest September score since 2011 (332.476). This brings the year-to-date volume down 7.5% to 1.910.820 sales, the weakest 9-month result since 2013 (1.794.924). Private sales match the market at -20.1% to 162.972 and 48.1% share vs. 47.9% a year ago but fleet sales sink 22.4% to 155.417 and 45.9% share vs. 47% in September 2017 and business sales edge down 6.3% to 20.445 and 6% vs. 5.1%. Year-to-date, the various channels show similar evolution with private sales down 6.9% to 859.109 and 45% share vs. 44.7% over the same period in 2017, fleet deliveries down 8% to 974.622 and 51% share vs. 51.3% and business sales down 8% to 76.789 and 4% share, unchanged on 2017. Diesel sales continue to implode at -42.5% to just 98.191 and 29% share vs. 40.1% in September 2017, while petrol sales drop a more muted 6.7% to 217.136 and 64.1% share vs. 54.6% and alternative fuels gain a shy 3.8% to 23.507 and 6.9% share vs. 5.3%. Year-to-date, diesel tumbels down 31.3% to 607.092 and 31.8% vs. 42.8%, petrol is actually up 9.3% to 1.189.154 and 62.2% vs. 52.7% and AFV soars 21.7% to 114.574 and a record 6% share vs. 4.6% a year ago.

September UK sales 2002-2017. Source SMMT

After 3 consecutive months of unheard-of Volkswagen reign, Ford (-16%) reclaims the lead of the UK brands ranking by falling slightly slower than the market to a still meagre 9.8% share vs. 10.8% so far this year. In fact Volkswagen (-55%) logically implodes this month to #8 and 4.8% vs. 12% in August and 8.3% YTD. Mercedes (-4%) jumps four spots on last month to an all-time record 8.9% share and 2nd place overall, a ranking it has held just once before (in April 2017). Vauxhall (-7%) resists very well to climb back up to #3, the brand’s first UK podium ranking since last May. BMW (-11%) remains in 4th place with Toyota (-1%) up five spots to #5 and Nissan (-42%) up 9 to #6 despite a damning loss. The only carmakers to post a year-on-year gain in the Top 20 are Kia (+4%) up from #12 in August to #7 this month, Volvo (+8%) up from #23 to #15 and Jaguar (+19%) up from #21 to #19. Further down, Aston Martin (+89%), Lotus (+85%), Subaru (+63%), Mitsubishi (+35%), Abarth (+27%), MG (+20%) and Ssangyong (+2%) also make themselves noticed.

The Vauxhall Corsa shoots back up 25% year-on-year to rank #2 in September.

Unsurprisingly, the Top 10 models ranking has a totally different composition this month vs. August. The Ford Fiesta (+13%) remains in the lead but is followed this time by the Vauxhall Corsa (+25%) coming from outside the August Top 10 and advancing two spots to #3 YTD. The Mercedes A-Class (+4%) climbs onto the UK podium for the first time in history, with its previous best being #4 hit in April 2017 and February 2018, also beating its volume record at 8.005 (pb 7.672 in September 2017) and equalling its share record at 2.4%, also hit in April 2017. The Nissan Qashqai (-48%) halves its sales YoY but climbs back up 5 spots to #4, the Mini (-15%) is back up to #5, the Nissan Juke (-13%) scores its 2nd Top 10 finish in 19 months and highest since January 2017 at #6, the Kia Sportage is up 3 ranks to #7, its highest since last January, the BMW 1 Series scores its second Top 10 ranking in the past four months at #8, its highest since November 2017 and the Ford Focus (-40%) returns inside the UK Top 10 at #9 after two months outside, something that had never happened before to the Focus nameplate launched in 1998. Finally, there are no VWs in the Top 10 for the first time since March 2004.

Previous month: UK August 2018: Pre-WLTP push has VW #1 brand for 3rd month in a row

One year ago: UK September 2017: Nissan Qashqai first Japanese model to rank #1

Full September 2018 Top 43 brands and Top 10 models below.

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