October winners and losers

Time 11:59 am, November 6, 2008

FUEL efficiency continued to dominate buyers’ thoughts, in the gloom of October’s sales.

The SMMT reports that diesel car penetration has never been higher, with 45.6 per cent of all new cars now being oil-burners.

Overall, the best-selling car was Vauxhall’s Corsa, leading a supermini segment that also continues to grow its share of the market – again, thanks to economic factors.

The Focus still leads the year-to-date charts, though; 91,139 cars is just ahead of the Corsa at number 2 with the Astra making it a two out of three Vauxhalls on the podium.

One notable maker is BMW, which now seems to be a ‘volume’ manufacturer: the maker has two cars in the top 10. The 3 Series didn’t just outsell all its rivals, it also outdid the Peugeot 207, while the 1 Series was also a surprise top-10 entrant.

Only one sector posted growth in October – city cars. As for overall markets, retail and business buyers have fallen fastest, but the SMMT also reports that fleet demand is starting to become unstuck.

As for the makers in general, it’s awful. Only three posted volume increases – Dodge (10 per cent), Jaguar (an impressive 22 per cent) and Volvo (an even better 23 per cent – that’s 2340 cars sold).

Of the volume brands, Ford’s down 5.5 per cent, Volkswagen 20.7 per cent, Vauxhall 22.1 per cent, Peugeot 39.7 per cent, Renault 53.7 per cent.

There are surprises, too: who’d have expected MINI to be down 40 per cent? Or Smart to fall by a similar number? Audi’s September growth stalled, with an almost 12 per cent drop, matching arch-rival BMW, but still better than Mercedes’ near one-third decline.

Jeep’s down 62 per cent – and Chrysler? A staggering 75 per cent fall. Thank goodness for Dodge, those dealers will be thinking.

In short, double-digit falls are the norm in October, we’re sorry to report. Question now is, what are the car makers going to do to respond?

Top 10 best-sellers in October
1 Vauxhall Corsa
2 Ford Fiesta
3 Vauxhall Astra
4 Ford Focus
5 Volkswagen Golf
6 Ford Mondeo
7 BMW 3 Series
8 Vauxhall Zafira
9 Peugeot 207
10 BMW 1 Series

Car Dealer Magazine's avatar

Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

More stories...

Server 190