Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

Car Sales Drive Through The Two Million Barrier

8 January 1988

By Hugh Hunston

Sales of new cars in Britain broke through the two million barrier last year, with Ford dominating a buoyant market, their cars holding the top three positions. Demand has been sustained since the record E-registration August period, with the highest number of registrations in December for 16 years.

British manufacturers increased their annual share of the market from 44% to 48%, largely due to the number of Ford, General Motors, and Peugeot cars being built in UK plants. Companies and private buyers together bought 2013693 cars last year, adding nearly 131000 units, 7%, to the 1986 record figure. While Ford remained the unchallenged leader, General Motors and Austin Rover had mixed fortunes.

GM lost 13739 sales and dropped to 13.4% of the market, falling farther behind Austin Rover which, despite dropping nearly one percentage point, added 4345 cars. One feature of the figures was a continuing recovery by European companies, particularly the French and Italians. Citroen added 11587 to its 1986 total, pulling up to 2.3% of the market and Peugeot, by virtue of 12000 extra 309 models supplied from the Ryton, Coventry, plant, topped 5%.

Fiat’s market share grew to 3.4% but Nissan remained the top traditional importer with 114000 cars because its Bluebirds built at Washington, Tyne and Wear, did not qualify as British models until January 1.

Audi-VW, which has enjoyed strong growth in recent years, slipped back in the company ratings to 108000 units, suffering from rising prices dictated by the strength of the deutschmark against sterling, and supply problems.

Austin Rover, which recently forecast a profitable 1987, also announced export earnings of £700 million, representing 140,000 cars sold in 50 countries. Ford took the first three places in British car sales last year, with the Escort top seller, followed by the Fiesta and Sierra.

More news from the archive

Wed, 30 Sep 1987
THE GUARDIAN By Andrew Cornelius Austin Rover yesterday unveiled radical plans to introduce unmanned production to parts of its once...
Tue, 13 Oct 1987
Jaguar P.L.C. increased its car production 14 percent in the first nine months of 1987 over the corresponding period in 1986, to a...
Tue, 29 Dec 1987
NEW YORK TIMES Jaguar P.L.C., the luxury-car maker, produced 16 percent more cars this year than in 1986 but fell just short of its...
Thu, 31 Dec 1987
NEW YORK TIMES Britain's state-controlled Rover Group P.L.C. says it has built 14.5 percent more cars this year than last, mainly...
Thu, 31 Dec 1987
DAILY EXPRESS By David Benson Canadian born Graham Day, chairman of the State-owned Rover Group, has achieved what most pundits believed...
Tue, 23 Feb 1988
AP About 6,000 employees began a strike today at Land-Rover. It was the first walkout against the state-owned auto maker in six years...
Tue, 23 Feb 1988
Simon Beavis finds that money is not the only cause of the Land Rover strike I've never seen one so solid, and I've been here for...
Mon, 29 Feb 1988
Reuters About 2,000 white-collar workers at Land Rover U.K. Ltd. have accepted a two-year pay increase that was previously rejected...
Wed, 02 Mar 1988
Reuters British Aerospace P.L.C., the country's biggest aircraft manufacturer, will make an exclusive bid for the state-owned car...
Sat, 05 Mar 1988
By STEVE LOHR, Special to the New York Times As acquisition candidates go, the Rover Group P.L.C., Britain's largest auto maker,...

Ask Honest John

Amount to borrow
Sorry. The minimum loan amount is £1000
To pay back over

My credit score

Best available rate 9.20%

Total repayment £9,304.93

Total cost of credit £1,804.93


60 monthly payments

Apply now

Representative example

The Representative APR is 13.2% (fixed) so if you borrow £7,500 over 4 years at a rate of 13.2% p.a (fixed) you will repay £199.21 per month and repay £9562.20 in total.

CarFinance 247 Limited is acting as an independent credit broker