Year-to-date figures released by SMMT from January 1st to September show who’s scoring what in terms of units sold in the automotive industry in 2017. It’s already been an interesting year, with diesel scandals, road tax changes, scrappage schemes and various other external influences sending shockwaves through the industry.
Here’s who is coming out on top so far this year...
10 - Mercedes A Class - 34,547 units
In at number 10 is the Mercedes Benz A Class. Not a huge surprise, really, as competitive leasing and finance deals make this the most accessible car on the market from the ‘big 3’ German manufacturers, (Mercedes, Audi, BMW.)
9 - MINI Hatchback - 36,784 units
Quite a disappointing year so far for the MINI hatchback, a car which is used to being between 4th and 7th in the rankings year on year. This is a product of a segmented vehicle lineup from the manufacturer. Previously, the hatchback was the number 1 MINI but now the range is more diverse with the Countryman, Clubman and so on.
8 - Mercedes C Class - 39,055 units
Although the A Class is the most accessible premium German car, the C-Class is outselling it so far this year. This is largely due to company car leases. The C-Class is an incredibly popular car for business owners and employees on the company car scheme, so it’s not a huge surprise that this is performing so well.
7 - Volkswagen Polo - 40,455 units
A turbulent year for the Polo, which is often the case when a new model is launched. Customers are apprehensive about buying the outgoing model, but the new model was only launched in August. Expect a much better performance from the new Polo next year.
6 - Vauxhall Astra - 41,250 units
There’s nout more certain in life than death, taxes and the Vauxhall Astra selling strongly in the UK. Us Brits have a strange affection with the Astra, it consistently outsells hatchbacks which are typically more popular on the continent, like the Peugeot 308 and Renault Megane and so on, but this Astra is a really well-rounded package, and 40,000+ units sold by September is a real achievement.
5 - Vauxhall Corsa - 46,600 units
Right, now we’re getting to the business end of the league tables. This is a relatively poor performance by the Corsa, sadly. The car hasn’t fared well at all in comparison to it’s Ford counterpart, the Fiesta. That’s more of a nod to the Ford than it is a dig at the Corsa though, which is a spritely package which will deliver on everything that is expected of it, although it won’t make the hairs on your back stand up.
4 - Nissan Qashqai - 53,197 units
It’s still going strong. Remember before when I said that it can be difficult for some vehicles to perform well the year a new model is launched? The Qashqai disagrees. A new model was launched this year and it really does give it that little boost ahead of the competition. The car now has the foundation for Nissan’s autonomous technology which will be out next year. A really exciting car which fully deserves its plaudits.
3 - Volkswagen Golf - 57,018 units
This is a particularly strong performance from the Golf and there’s some savvy thinking behind it. Volkswagen has accrued a significant number of sales on the Golf due to the diversity of the lineup. There’s one of everything. A modest 1.0 petrol, an economical 1.6 diesel, a fully electric e-golf, a hot diesel in the GTD, a hot-hybrid in the GTE, a hot-hatch in the GTi and a rocket-hatch in the Golf R. Collectively, it’s no surprise that they’ve shifted over 57,000+ units already this year.
2 - Ford Focus - 57,526 units
Impressively, the Focus has felt the mounting pressure of the VW Golf and it has dealt with it. Just 508 units are the difference between the Focus and Golf over the first 8 months of the year. Keep an eye on this battle as we head toward Christmas - it could get juicy, which would mean a load of mega savings to convince speculative buyers.
1 - Ford Fiesta - 75,814 units
Top of the league, they’re having a laugh. The guys at Ford have got the UK motor industry down to a T. 18,288 sales separate the Ford Fiesta from the nearest competitor, the Ford Focus. A 1st and 2nd finish would certainly please the team at Ford and the top spot is as-good-as nailed on once again for the Fiesta this year. A brand new model with futuristic styling and agreeable running costs make this the top seller. I’d go as far as putting my mortgage on the Fiesta finishing top this year, but I don’t have a mortgage.