Ford returns to top

of sales charts

Ford Puma, 2023, front
Nissan Qashqai, 2023, front
Vauxhall Mokka, 2021, side

FORD is back at the top of the sales charts with the Puma becoming Britain's top selling new car in May.

As the new car market recorded its longest uninterrupted period of growth since 2015, the Puma overtook the Nissan Qashqai selling some 4,184 units.

That was 1,040 more than the Qashqai and 1,118 ahead of the Vauxhall Mokka which came in third with 3,066 models leaving showrooms.

The switch to electric vehicles continues with BEV volumes growing by 58.7 per cent to take a 16.9 per cent market share with 24,513 sold during the month.

Overall, 145,204 cars were sold in May according to the the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders marking 10 consecutive months of growth, although registrations remain21.0 per centbelow pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

Large fleet registrations continued to drive the growth, up by 36.9 per cent to 76,207 units, reflecting a regularisation of supply following challenging supply issues in 2022.

Registrations to private buyers fell slightly by 0.5 per cent to 65,932 cars, while smaller business fleets registered 3,065 units, a year-on-year rise of 22.5 per cent.

Petrol-powered cars remain Britain's best sellers, accounting for 57.1 per cent of all registrations.

Alternatively powered vehicles, however, continued to make up an ever-larger share of the market, with plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) rising 23.0 per cent to reach a 6.2 per cent market share and hybrids (HEVs) growing 22.2 per cent to comprise 12.3 per cent of all registrations.

Reflecting the dramatic transformation of the market over the last three years, May saw battery electric vehicles consolidate their position as the UK's second most popular powertrain. A further 24,513 joined the road during the month.

Of the new cars registered in May, lower mediums, superminis and dual purpose were the most popular, comprising 86.3 per centof the market.

There are now zero emission options available in every segment of the market, with more than 80 models - around a quarter of all new car models available - from which to choose.

These new BEVs have an average battery range of 236 miles, well in excess of UK drivers' average weekly mileage of around 100 miles.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive,said: "After the difficult, Covid-constrained supply issues of the last few years, it's good to see the new car market maintain its upward trend and the fact that growth is, increasingly, green growth is hugely encouraging.

"Transforming the market nationwide, however, and at an even greater pace means we must increase demand and help any reticent driver overcome any concerns about electric vehicles. This will require every stakeholder - industry, government, chargepoint operators and energy companies - to play their part, accelerating investment to drive decarbonisation."

The top ten best sellers in May were the Ford Puma, the Nissan Qashqai, Vauxhall Mokka, Vauxhall Corsa, the Audi A3, Hyundai Tucson, Volvo XC40, Nissan Juke, the Tesla Model Y and the Toyota Yaris.

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