Britons buying more diesels and small cars

SMMT, the trade association for the UK motor industry, has just released British market statistics for 2007. The highlights of this report are that the UK market has gone up (by 2.5 percent) overall but also that Britons are buying more diesels than ever (40.2 percent) and the average new car CO2 figures are down 1.4 percent (as we reported recently).

Despite the increased sales in all segments, the highest percentage increase was for MPVs (minivans), a 16.5 percent. But in absolute numbers, the lower medium segment (subcompact) had the biggest rise: 25,084 units more. This is actually the segment of the market that sells more cars (4 out of the 10 most popular cars belong to this segment).

Car eingineers have steadily improved average CO2 emissions since 1997, from 189.9 to 164.9 g/km per year. At this pace, unless automakers start to sell cars with even lower emissions, automakers would need 14 years to reach the required EU average of 130 g/km for 2012 - at least in the average market (each marque has its own work to do).

Britons have also acquired more alternatively-fueled cars than ever up from 9,439 units in 2006 to 16,640 in 2007. Despite the fact that diesel fuel in the UK does not have the same tax advantages as in other EU countries (it's actually a little bit more expensive than gasoline), the diesel market share there is now at an all-time high. Remarkably 43.5 percent of cars sold last December were diesels.

Follow us after the jump to see the UK's top sellers (including high-res gallery).

[Source: SMMT]
  1. Ford Focus (126,928 units - the top seller since 1999)
  2. Vauxhall Astra (113,894)
  3. Ford Fiesta (102,872)
  4. Vauxhall Corsa (94,210)
  5. Volkswagen Golf (68,843)
  6. Peugeot 207 (67,185)
  7. BMW 3-Series (58,544)
  8. Renault M├ęgane (55,468)
  9. Renault Clio (53,907)
  10. Vauxhall Vectra (50,983)
Ford Focus
Ford Focus
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