Just two in 10 of the best-selling cars on Britain’s roads are made here, new research reveals.
Eighty per cent of the most popular cars among the country’s 37 million drivers are imported, some from as far away as South Africa and South Korea.
An investigation by car magazine Auto Express found only four of the top 20 best sellers are manufactured in Britain.
Germany dominates car production across Europe and makes eight of the top selling cars in the UK.
Best sellers made in Britain are the Vauxhall Astra, Nissan’s Juke and Qashqai and the MINI.
Astra production is split between Ellesmere Port, in Cheshire, and Gliwice, in Poland, while the MINI is made jointly in Oxford and Born in Holland.Read More
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Car production in the UK has risen - it was up 3.5 per cent to 157,056 vehicles in October - but is largely driven by exports, partly due to sterling making it cheaper for foreign buyers.
Here in the UK, demand for cars overall is falling, down 6.8 per cent for the year to date compared with the same period in 2016.
And most of the demand is for cars made abroad.
The list of the top 20 models sold here shows why the UK car industry is lobbying for the government to reach a stable agreement with the European Union ahead of Brexit in 2019.
Mike Hawes, of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said UK production is likely to fall in the coming year from 1.8 to 1.73 million. Many models are coming to the end of their life cycles and economic uncertainty means some of their replacements may not be made here.
This marks the end of five years of continuous growth in UK production. And many of those that are made here are unlikely to ever feature in the most popular lists as they include high end luxury brands such as Lotus, Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar and Land Rover.Read More
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Ford stopped building cars in Britain in 2002 and stopped building Transit vans here in 2013. Since then the only mass market brands to be made here are some Honda, Toyota, Nissan, MINI and Vauxhall models.
Mr Hawes said: “The latest independent UK forecast report is worrying news for the sector, predicting annual output which is, at best, static compared with last year.
“The industry needs stability and a clear roadmap for Brexit if we are to encourage investment and arrest the decline in both the market and business confidence.”
Sixteen of the best-selling cars in the UK are produced in solely in other EU countries and two more are partly produced in the UK and partly abroad. Only Nissan’s two top 20 models are wholly made in the UK.
John McIlroy, deputy editor of Auto Express, said: “There’s little sign that UK consumers are backing local car plants more in the face of Brexit.
“Worryingly, sales numbers for October, published by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed a year on year drop of more than 12 per cent, with less than 16,000 cars sold during the month.”
Where the top selling 20 cars in the UK are made(Sales are from year to October)
1 Ford Fiesta Cologne, Germany 83,070
2 Volkswagen Golf Wolfsburg, Germany 62,565
3 Ford Focus Saarlouis, Germany 62,029
4 Nissan Qashqai Sunderland, UK 57,120
5 Vauxhall Corsa Zaragoza, Spain/Eisenach, Germany 48,315
6 Volskwagen Polo (new model) Uitenhage, South Africa 43,158
7 Vauxhall Astra Gliwice, Poland/Ellesmere Port, UK 43,116
8 Mercedes C-Class East London, South Africa 41,281
9 MINI Born, Holland/Oxford, UK 38,964
10 Mercedes A-class Uusikaupunki, Finland 37,937
11 Kia Sportage Zilina, Slovakia 35,475
12 Nissan Juke Sunderland, UK 34,652
13 Ford Kuga Valencia, Spain 33,924
14 Audi A3 Ingolstadt, Germany 33,806
15 Vauxhall Mokka X Bupyeong, South Korea/Zaragoza, Spain 32,302
16 BMW 3-Series Bavaria, Germany 30,856
17 BMW 1-Series Leipzig, Germany 28,928
18 Hyundai Tucson Nosovice, Czech Republic 25,363
19 Toyota Yaris Valenciennes, France 25,115
20 Volkswagen Tiguan Wolfsburg, Germany 24,988