Scots new car registrations fall 8.18% 08 | 01 | 2019

    NEW CAR REGISTRATIONS in Scotland fell 8.18% last year, down from 203,323 in 2017 to 186,683, representing a market drop of 16,640 units, according to the Scottish Motor Trade Association. That’s despite a 1.26% increase in December sales, compared to the same month in 2017. (Related: "Take control," SMTA tells Westminster)

    Significantly, though registrations of electric vehicles in Scotland increased by 16.38% year-on-year, that represents only 1051 units or .56% of 1% against the whole Scottish market. (Related: Vauxhall tops Scots sales charts)

    Vauxhall took the largest share in the mainstream petrol/diesel market in Scotland, accounting for 11.13% of registrations. But its 20,778 units in 2018 was significantly down on Vauxhall’s 2017 figure of 22,577, which represented an 11.10% share.

    Ford once again was Vauxhall’s largest challenger in 2018, taking 10.85% (20,254 units) of the market, ahead of third-placed Volkswagen (8.39% / 15,662), BMW (5.90% / 11,018) and Audi (5.33% / 9959).

    The top 10 was completed by Toyota (4.57% / 8533), Mercedes (4.48% / 8355), Kia (4.22% / 7870), Hyundai (4.14% / 7732) and Nissan (3.76% / 7082).


    Ford, however, took the bestselling car honours with the Fiesta. A total of 7002 Fiesta models were registered at Scottish showrooms, beating the Vauxhall Corsa into second place with 6688, a difference of 314 units.

    And while also Ford took third place with its Focus (4451 units), VW filled fourth and fifth with its Polo (4342) and Golf (3483) respectively. The top 10 was completed by the Vauxhall Crossland X (3334), Mini (3205), Nissan Qashqai (3130), Vauxhall Mokka X (3126) and Renault Clio (3011).


    Of the nine Scottish Regions, only Fife saw registrations increase over the 12 months in 2018, up 5.51% from 10,022 in 2017 to 10,574 last year. Every other region saw sales fall.

    The biggest drop in registrations in terms of percentage was felt in Strathclyde. But the damage was something of a double whammy as the region also accounts for the largest sale of new registrations.

    Last year Strathclyde saw registrations plummet by 12.90%, down from 106,942 in 2017 to 93,143, a fall of 13,799 units. To put that in perspective, the loss is 485 higher than the total number of new cars (13,314) registered in Tayside over the whole of last year. The year-on-year drop in Tayside was only 1.55%.

    Next to Strathclyde, Central suffered the next highest percentage loss, down 9.23% from 13,433 in 2017 to 12,193 last year. The smallest drop was in Lothian, down just 0.34% from 24,481 to 24,397, a reduction of just 84 units.


    Only four of the Scottish Regions enjoyed year-on-year increases in December. The largest increase was in Fife, up 9.74% to 541 units, compared with 493 in 2017. The others were Grampian (5.98% / 957), Strathclyde (4.39% / 5186), and Highlands (1.36% / 520).

    The largest drop was in Dumfries & Galloway, down 13.96% compared with December 2017, with a total of 191 units. That’s compared with 222 in December the previous year. Of greater significance was the 7.45% drop in Lothian, down from 1477 in December 2017 to 1367 last month.

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    Jim McGill

    Figures supplied by SMMT

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