50% of Britain’s 10 best-selling cars are presently on sale in North America. Among those five vehicles, however, there are significant differences between the European and North American versions. Take the top-selling Fiesta as an example. Available here as a sedan and 5-door hatchback with only one powerplant, the Fiesta in UK dealers is exclusively hatched (3 and 5-door) and is sold with six different engines. Ford posted a 16.9% year-over-year drop in Fiesta sales in March. Overall, Ford UK sales dropped 14.9%.
Marketing cars with numerous engine options is perfectly common practice Across The Pond. So while American auto enthusiasts get excited (and don’t buy) the diesel-powered $44,150 BMW 335d, Brits can buy the tenth-best-selling 3-Series with one of seven diesels. Power climbs from 116 horses in the £24,560 316d through the 204 in the £29,840 325d up to the 286-horsepower £38,950 335d. The 3-Series trailed BMW’s own Mini by 1301 units in March but was the best-selling premium brand car. Speaking of premium brands, BMW sold 17,987 cars in the UK in March, up 9.2% from March 2010. Audi sold 2749 more vehicles than BMW in the UK last month. Also, Mini found 9319 UK buyers in the 31 days of March.
Peugeot, Vauxhall, and Volkswagen all posted sales declines for their overall fleets. Excluding sales from last year’s scrappage scheme, the UK auto market was up 5.9% versus the actual 7.9% decline. SMMT’s Paul Everitt said March is, “traditionally the biggest month of the year,” and added that, “the market remains on course to meet SMMT’s forecast for the year with motorists buying increasingly fuel-efficient and low emitting vehicles across every segment.”
Here then are the Top 10 Best-Selling Cars In The UK for March 2011. If you have a source for the missing historical figures, leave a comment.