News: Driving reveals the new car heroes that helped UK set sales record

Ford Fiesta is still king... and becoming even more popular

UK cars sales bestseller 2014

MODELS INCLUDING the Mercedes A-class, Nissan Juke and Ford Fiesta have emerged as the heroes of the new car showrooms as dealers celebrate 27 consecutive months of sales growth.

New figures show that in May, new car registrations rose 7.7%, continuing a trend that began in March 2012. It is the longest period of growth on record. So far this year, registrations stand at 1,058,974 units.

The best-selling car in May, and so far this year, was the Ford Fiesta. Traditionally, Ford and Vauxhall occupy the highest positions in the sales charts with other models including the Fiat 500, VW Golf and Nissan Qashqai trailing in their wake.

But the past 27 months of growth could not have been possible without the success of some key models further down the sales charts. Driving asked the SMMT to compare the annual registration figures from the 12 months leading up to the start of the 27-month period of growth, with the most recent 12 months to date.

Comparing the two periods, three model sectors ‒ small cars, premium hatchbacks and SUVs ‒showed the greatest growth in registrations. From these three sectors, the SMMT identified a selection of models that best illustrate the levels of growth each experienced.

Of those it selected, the model recording the biggest growth over the period was the Suzuki Alto. Registrations for the five-door supermini , which costs from £7,199, were 169% higher in the past 12 months than the 12 months up to March 2012.

Prices that start at £21,965 were no hindrance to the Mercedes A-class which likewise posted growth of 140%.

The SUV sector provided some of the strongest performers including the Skoda Yeti (registrations up 93%), Kia Sportage (79%) and Ford Kuga (71%).

But perhaps the greatest hero of them all was the Fiesta. Despite selling in numbers that dwarf the other models, its registrations increased 24% over the two periods, equivalent to 25,356 additional sales.


The new car sales heroes of the past 27 months

The cars that best illustrate the UK sales boom


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Small cars

Car April 2011 – March 2012 June 2013 – May 2014 Increase
Ford Fiesta 103,805 129,161 24%
Suzuki Alto 5,121 13,763 169%
Toyota Yaris 22,235 32,623 47%
VW Up Not on sale 22,466 N/A


Premium C-segment hatchbacks

Car April 2011 – March 2012 June 2013 – May 2014 Increase
Mercedes A-class* 9,524 22,854 140%
BMW 1-series 29,236 40,466 38%
Audi A3 29,538 38,125 29%

* Car went from ‘MPV-style’ previous generation to sporty hatch with new model



Car April 2011 – March 2012 June 2013 – May 2014 Increase
Nissan Juke 24,077 37,480 56%
Kia Sportage 11,741 21,052 79%
Skoda Yeti 6,503 12,575 93%
Hyundai ix35 7,991 14,304 79%
Toyota Rav4 4,572 7,896 73%
Ford Kuga 10,146 17,318 71%
Vauxhall Mokka Not on sale 20,041 N/A



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