But for Vauxhall, it became a month to shout about after it fought through to first place in the overall car sales market, to become Britain’s top-selling automotive brand.
The firm took 15.7% of UK car registrations in August, adding the overall title to its now regular slot as best-selling fleet manufacturer.
Highlights included strong demand for the new Astra, Corsa and Zafira. Kevin Wale, Vauxhall’s chairman and managing director, said: ‘These registrations don’t include the first Tigras which are only now arriving with customers.’
However, year-to-date, the manufacturer still has some way to go to beat Ford, with total sales of 213,191, compared to 242,084 for the blue oval.
Overall, the August car market was down 4.9% at 84,996 units, with private sales down 13.7% at 36,980, fleet up 4.3% at 42,905 and business sales down 4.3% at 5,111.
Year-to-date, total sales are up 1% at 1,633,585, still on course for a record year. Private sales are down 2.9% at 779,967, but fleet sales are up 3.1% at 695,985, while business sales are up 10.5% at 173,243.
The Ford Focus continues to be the top seller, leading the charts in both August and the year-to-date, while it was also best-selling fleet car. Four Vauxhalls were in the top 10 fleet sales list for August, with Corsa in second, Astra in third, Zafira in fifth and Vectra in sixth.
Overall, diesel registrations rose for the 47th consecutive month, taking about 32% of the market. In fleet diesel sales, Focus was top in August, followed by the Vauxhall Astra – less than 200 units behind – Vectra, Golf and Megane.
In the overall fleet sales charts for the year to August, the Ford Mondeo is the best-selling diesel, followed by the Focus.