Fleet News

Smaller cars take the lead in UK car parc

Changing tastes among car buyers over the past decade have revealed rocketing demand for smaller cars that has reshaped traffic on Britain's roads.

Traditional segments including lower-medium and upper-medium vehicles have fallen in terms of their share of the overall car market, while minis, superminis, and even specialist sports cars have seen their share grow.

Superminis are now the most popular car in the sales charts, overtaking lower-medium cars which topped the charts in 1004. In terms of percentage growth, MPVs have seen the biggest surge, rising from 0.7% to 4.3% of the market. And despite environmental pressures, luxury saloons have retained the market share today that they enjoyed 10 years ago, at about 0.5%.

Annual car registrations by segment – percentage market share

1994 2003
Mini: 1 1.5
Supermini: 26 33.9
Lower medium: 33.6 27.9
Upper medium: 26.5 18.6
Executive: 6.3 4.6
Luxury saloon: 0.6 0.5
Specialist sports: 1.5 2.5
4x4 dual purpose: 3.7 6.2
MPV: 0.7 4.3

Segment best-sellers 2003

Mini: smart fortwo
Supermini: Vauxhall Corsa
Lower-medium: Ford Focus
Upper-medium: BMW 3-series
Executive: Mercedes-Benz C-class
Luxury saloon: Jaguar XJ
Specialist sports: Audi TT
4x4 dual purpose: Land Rover Freelander
MPV: Vauxhall Zafira

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