2017 was a difficult year for the car industry, especially for those brands heavily reliant on selling diesel cars. After a record-breaking first three months, the market started to fall and just kept on falling.
The market was more than 6% up after March, but then the last nine months saw a fall of more than 10% on the same period last year, leading to an overall result that was just under 6% down in total. Private and small business sales fell more than larger fleets, and diesel cars took a massive hammering.
The industry is pointing the finger of blame Brexit, the government and anyone else they could think of, although no-one wanted to put their hands up and accept that the industry has created its own mess with its addiction to PCP and PCH finance deals, which looks like it has come back to bite hard. The forecast for 2018 is for continued decline, although hopefully things will start to stabilise.
However, it’s not doom and gloom for everyone. Some cars kept rolling out of showrooms at a rapid pace, keeping the dealers, manufacturers and finance companies happy.
These are the UK’s ten best-selling cars of 2017. It’s important to remember that the official numbers refer to ‘registrations’ rather than ‘sales’, as some manufacturers engage in a lot of pre-registration shenanigans to boost their sales numbers.
10. Mercedes-Benz A-Class (new entry)
It’s been around since 2012, but the current model Mercedes-Benz A-Class has continued to rise through the ranks each year. Strong residual values, along with competitive pricing and finance deals, have helped the A-Class knock its biggest rival, the Audi A3, out of the top ten best-selling cars list.
The A-Class has hit the top ten in what is likely to be its last full year before a replacement model comes along before the end of 2018. Interestingly, A-Class sales do not include the CLA saloon (it’s not a coupé, despite what Mercedes wants you to believe), whereas the next-generation model is likely to receive a saloon model (precisely like the Audi A3, in fact) and the CLA is likely to be killed off. So the A-Class may see increased sales numbers over the next year or two.