Who were 2017’s biggest losers in the UK automotive industry?

Time 11:37 am, January 5, 2018

JEEP saw the most dramatic year-on-year drop in new car sales in 2017 – down 54.7 per cent.

In 2016, the manufacturer registered 14,090 new cars in the UK but this plummeted to 6,380, according to figures out this morning from the SMMT.

Jeep was followed by DS Automobiles, which registered 9,082 cars in 2017 – down 42.9 per cent on the previous year’s figure of 15,898. Fellow FCA brand Fiat saw the third-largest reduction in sales, with registrations down by 26.6 per cent from 60,581 to 44,475 last year.

Subaru was close behind with a 25.8 per cent drop in new car registrations in 2017, although the figure only fell from 3,612 units to 2,679.

However, in fifth place, Vauxhall’s new car registrations dropped by a dramatic 55,818 units (22.2 per cent) from 250,955 cars in 2016 to 195,137 in 2017. This was still enough to keep it at third overall in the rankings for the best-selling manufacturer in the UK, though.

Ford remained at the top of the table for sales but saw them drop by 9.7 per cent from 318,316 in 2016 to 287,396. Volkswagen, meanwhile, overtook Vauxhall to become the second-biggest selling car maker – recording a 0.7 per cent increase in registrations from 207,028 to 208,462 in the process.

Fellow German brand Mercedes-Benz also saw new car registrations increase by 6.6 per cent in 2017, from 169,828 to 180,970.

It was the British supercar brands that enjoyed the most dramatic increase in sales last year, though. McLaren went from merely 18 in 2016 to 567 last year – up 3,050 per cent – while Aston Martin saw new car registrations in the UK increase by 62.4 per cent from 906 to 1,471.

CEO of McLaren Automotive Mike Flewitt said: Demand has been strong for McLaren Automotive across our product families in 2017, with interest particularly robust in our biggest market, North America. The majority of sales came from the Sports Series family, our brand entry point that is achieving significant interest and attracting new customers.

‘With a strong order bank stretching well into this summer, it is expected that close to half of 2018 sales will derive from the Super Series. Meanwhile, the Ultimate Series continues to surpass our expectations, with a completely full order book for both the newly unveiled McLaren Senna and another future model codenamed BP23.’

Andy Palmer, Aston Martin president and CEO, added: ‘We continue to perform ahead of expectations, both in terms of financial performance and in meeting our targets for the DB11 and special vehicles. This strong sales performance shows that our Second Century transformation plan is building momentum.

‘Phase two of the programme will be largely completed in 2018 with the introduction of the Vanquish replacement and production of the new Vantage, contributing to continued sustainable profitability at Aston Martin.’

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Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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