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03 June

Western Group of Motoring Writers' PR Driving Day at Castle Combe Circuit, Chippenham (by invitation only)


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Is Ford really the most successful UK marque?

publication date: Sep 14, 2015
author/source: Captain Pugwash


Nissan badge marque of successWe’ve come to accept and report without question for the most part that the monthly registration numbers from the SMMT are a true indication of the sales success of car manufacturers.

We know that a new vehicle registration doesn’t always mean that a car has been sold to a real customer, just witness the number of ‘nearly new cars with delivery mileage’ on most franchised dealers’ used car forecourts.


This is highlighted every few years as a new trend when in fact it has been evident for more than 20 years.

But that’s not what I want you to think about. I want you to consider registrations per model/derivative as a measure of success.

If you take the SMMT’s list of top ten manufacturers for the first seven months of 2015 and divide the number of registrations by the number of models/derivatives offered by each of those manufacturers then the top ten list looks somewhat different. For the purposes of this exercise I’ve used the list of new cars available in the UK from the latest issue of Autocar, as good a reference as any.

SMMT list:     Captain Pugwash list:  
Ford                            201,265   Nissan 93,335 ÷ 66 = 1,414


159,333   Ford                            201,265 ÷ 225 = 894
Volkswagen 135,567   Hyundai 52,911 ÷ 70 = 756
Audi 99,013   Toyota 60,196 ÷ 101 = 596
Nissan 93,335   Volkswagen 135,567 ÷ 232 = 584
BMW 89,748   Mercedes-Benz 84,930 ÷ 170 = 500
Mercedes-Benz  84,930   Vauxhall 159,333 ÷ 323 = 493
Peugeot  64,414   Peugeot 64,414 ÷ 149 = 432
Toyota  60,196   Audi 99,013 ÷ 374 = 265
Hyundai 52,911   BMW 89,748 ÷ 479 = 187


And let’s not forget the new kid on the block which would jump from 22nd to 4th place, infront of Toyota and knocking BMW out of the top ten altogether: Dacia 15,503 ÷ 24 = 646

Interesting to note how comfortably Nissan outperforms Ford and the squabbling German twins become very much also-rans!

Does this prove anything? Maybe not but it could allow Nissan, Hyundai and Dacia to put a more positive spin on their monthly sales results when reporting back to their respective head offices.


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