LONDON - Passenger-car sales in the UK rose 7.2 percent in the first nine months. Sales totalled 1,777,062 for the period. The market is on course for 2.1 million units for the full year, according to SMMT, the manufacturers association.
Despite a good September, market leader Ford's share is falling. Ford's share was 18.3 percent over the nine months. That compares with 19.8 percent in the same period of 1996. After the first half of 1997 its share was 18.6 percent.
Ford had the three best-selling models. No. 1 was the Fiesta, with 99,927 units, followed by the Escort and Mondeo.
Vauxhall had the next three positions with the Astra, Vectra and Corsa. The best-selling import was the Peugeot 306, with 54,110 registrations. Imports took 66.3 percent of the market, up from 62.3 percent in the same period last year.
Total September registrations were 160,739, up 16.4 percent on last year. The figure was boosted by orders from August.