UK car sales: Brits and Germans strong, French and Italians in trouble
The UK new sales figures show that Ford has increased its lead, Jaguar Land Rover is doing well, but Renault and Alfa Romeo are in danger of falling off the bottom of the table.
Ford is currently running at 14.2% year-to-date, compared to Vauxhall in second place at 11.0%. Land Rover is up 31% so far this year, and is now bigger than either Fiat or Renault. Talking of Renault, its sales have fallen another 47% to a market share of just 1.9% - that must be its lowest UK figure since the 1960s. The new Renault Clio has a herculean task on its hands. Still it could be worse – Alfa Romeo has dropped by 36% and now sells fewer than 1,000 cars a month in the UK for a market share of 0.4%.
Meanwhile the value manufacturers continue to take chunks out of the traditional mid-market brands. Hyundai, Kia and Skoda are all up between 10% and 20% so far this year, and are sitting just outside the Top 10, in 11th, 12th and 13th place respectively. However, at that rate of growth, one of them will be in 10th place by next year. Nowadays, all three are effectively mainstream brands having overtaken such well-known names as Honda.
However, the big winners are the Germans. VW, Audi and BMW are in third, fourth and fifth place overall, with Mercedes in eighth. All of them are at, or close to, their all-time record market shares and they all think there is more room for growth. Between the growing premium brands and the growing value brands, there is an ever-smaller space for what used to be called "volume brands" – except many of them don't have much volume any more