Subs exclusive: Winners and losers from UK car market in Q2 2022


Year to Date (YTD) sales figures up to June were down by 11.9% to 802,000

Sales figures for the first half of 2022 were thoroughly depressing: at 802,000, they were 11.9% down on this time in 2021, and 42.8% down on where they were five years ago. 

Here’s a detailed look at who sold what, based on the latest Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) data.

Alfa Romeo

2021 market share 0.08%                                                         

2022 market share: 0.10%

Half Year Registrations: 784

Best Selling Model: Guilia

Sales of the Giulia almost doubled, but 200% of nothing is still not very much. Both the Giulia and the Stelvio are second from bottom in their respective segments (ahead of the Jaguar XE and Genesis GV 70, respectively). Maybe the new Tonale will improve things, but Alfa Romeo has a 20-year history of waiting for the one new model that will revive its fortunes.


2021 market share: 0.01%

2022 market share: 0.02%

Half Year Registrations: 171

Best Selling Model: N/A

Alpine’s sports car is increasing sales, but is better at winning rave reviews than customers, unfortunately. By 2026, Alpine will make three electric models, including a replacement for the current A110. Hence, buy the current model while you can.

Aston Martin

2021 market share: 0.06%

2022 market share: 0.07%

Half Year Registrations: 586

Best Selling Model: DBX

Aston Martin seems to have spent most of its long life in crisis. Despite recent financial bailouts, and the new DBX, it still managed to lose £111m in the first quarter of this year. It has brought in new bosses from Ferrari, as Aston looks enviously at Ferrari’s profit margins. However Ferrari has a 70-year unbroken racing heritage, In comparison, Aston had a short period of racing success in the 1950s and a co-starring role in Bond films.


2021 market share: 7.46%

2022 market share: 6.71%

Half Year Registrations: 53,792

Best Selling Model: A3

Audi is only just behind parent VW, as the group prioritises more profitable models for its scarce chips. Even more gratifyingly for Audi, it has overtaken BMW and Mercedes to become the leading premium brand in the UK. One of the main reasons for Audi’s success has been the Q2 and Q3 crossovers, both of which now sell more than the Range Rover Evoque.


2021 market share: 0.07%

2022 market share: 0.11%

Half Year Registrations: 897

Best Selling Model: Bentayga

For quite a few years, Bentley’s market share was static, despite lots of new model activity. Now the benefits of the new cars seem to be coming through, as sales have risen by 47.8% in the first half of the year. It will be interesting to see if the new, more upmarket Range Rover will have any impact on Bentayga sales.


2021 market share: 7.18%

2022 market share: 6.67%

Half Year Registrations: 53,517

Best Selling Model: 3 Series

It is a real sign of the times that sales of X-branded crossovers are up by 7.4%, while sales of other models are down by 28.2%. Crossovers now account for 37.4% of all BMW sales, with the X3 selling nearly as many as the 3-Series, the car that has been BMW’s best-seller since the 1970s.


2021 market share: 1.86%

2022 market share: 1.88%

Half Year Registrations: 15,115

Best Selling Model: C4

The good news is that sales of the C4 are up by 78.9%. The bad news is that Citroen’s best-selling model is not even in the Top 10 in its segment. The amazing new Ami is a direct descendant of the radical Citroens of 50 years ago, but the rest of the range struggles to establish a clear identity.


2021 market share: 0.35%

2022 market share: 0.63%

Half Year Registrations: 5058

Best Selling Model: Formentor

Cupra is doing a superb job of establishing itself, with a market share of 0.6% after just two years. Its long-term plan of producing 500,000 cars per year by 2025 implies a market share of around 2.5% – 3%. The only problem with that is whether it will be achieved by cannibalising Seat.


2021 market share: 0.76%

2022 market share: 1.51%

Half Year Registrations: 12,111

Best Selling Model: Sandero

Dacia dealers must be feeling more confident than most right now. The recent Sandero is doing very well, the Jogger has just been launched, and the Bigster (big brother of the Duster) is still to come. The only fly in the ointment is that the Dacia factory will not yet commit to bringing the Spring EV to the UK.


2021 market share: 0.09%

2022 market share: 0.18%

Half Year Registrations: 1471

Best Selling Model: DS3

The first DS3 launched in 2009, which means DS can’t continue to play the new-boy card to explain its dismal market share. Enough people instinctively understand Cupra (a Mediterranean performance brand from VW) and Polestar (a cool, stylish premium brand from Sweden), but the concept of a premium Citroen is seen as a bit of contradiction in terms.


2021 market share: 0.07%

2022 market share: 0.07%

Half Year Registrations: 552

Best Selling Model: N/A

Some rivals look at Ferrari’s profit margins and valuation, and say it is effectively a luxury brand – a path they need to follow. That is missing the point. The greatest heritage and the best reputation in the car business makes Ferrari as valuable as a luxury brand. Trying to turn a rival into a Ferrari-style brand is doomed – it’s like trying to build the roof of a house before the walls are up.


2021 market share: 1.21%

2022 market share: 1.52%

Half Year Registrations: 12,379

Best Selling Model: 500

500: the brand formally (and possibly formerly) known as Fiat. Only the 500 and 500E still sell in measurable numbers – the 500X takes just 0.7% of its segment, and the Tipo is second from bottom in C-segment hatchbacks (ahead of only the DS4, which is hardly an achievement). The Panda may be rejuvenated, though, as a small EV based on the 2019 Centoventi concept car.


2021 market share: 8.21%

2022 market share: 7.58%

Half Year Registrations: 60,783

Best Selling Model: Puma

Ford has returned to the top of the sales charts, albeit with a much reduced market share. It shows how fragmented the UK car market now is: 10 years ago, 7.6% market share would only have been good enough for fourth position. The Puma is doing well (second overall, behind the Corsa), as is the Kuga. The Fiesta is down a remarkable 54.3%.


2021 market share: 0.00%

2022 market share: 0.04%

Half Year Registrations: 299

Best Selling Model: G70

The next Polestar – or the next Infiniti? The UK has not been kind to Asian premium brands: Lexus is not where it expected to be after more than 30 years’ work, Infiniti left, and Honda’s Acura did not even bother trying. However, if anyone can make the breakthrough, you would bet on it being Hyundai. It will be fascinating to watch what happens over the next three years.


2021 market share: 1.39%

2022 market share: 1.61%

Half Year Registrations: 12,894

Best Selling Model: Jazz

The new HR-V has led to a significant recovery in Honda market share, as all its sales have been incremental to existing Honda models. However, the car itself is only a moderate success, being 12th in its segment, behind the Renault Captur. Honda’s new full-hybrid Civic (no longer made in the UK, alas) arrives later this year.


2021 market share: 3.44%                                                                                                            

2022 market share: 5.10%

Half Year Registrations: 40,908

Best Selling Model: Tucson

10 years ago, Hyundai would have bitten your arm off for 5.1% of the UK market. Today, the achievement is slightly tarnished by the fact that its “little brother”, Kia, is on 7.2%. Nonetheless, Hyundai is going in the right direction, with Tucson sales up by 55.4%, and the Ioniq sub-brand performing strongly.


2021 market share: 1.30%

2022 market share: 0.83%

Half Year Registrations: 6691

Best Selling Model: I-Pace

The I-Pace has surged by 39.4% this year, but that is probably related to major supply chain difficulties last year, rather than an underlying rise in demand for what is still a very fine car. Unfortunately, the F-Pace has fallen by 49.8% over the same period. The fact that the F-Type is now Jaguar’s third best-selling model is a serious indictment of the E-Pace, let alone the XE/XF saloons.


2021 market share: 0.23%

2022 market share: 0.17%

Half Year Registrations: 1363

Best Selling Model: Renegade

If only the UK consumer was interested in SUVs…The Jeep badge on the Fiat-based Renegade is a bit like the slice of lime on a bottle of Corona beer. However, it is a lot easier to distract the buyer of a cheap beer than the buyer of a new car.


2021 market share: 4.98%

2022 market share: 7.16%

Half Year Registrations: 57,455

Best Selling Model: Sportage

“Kia becomes UK No. 1” would have been right up there with “Elvis found on the moon” for ridiculous headlines – except it actually happened earlier this year. That Kia can successfully sell crossovers (Sportage) and city cars (Picanto) is no surprise, but even the Ceed is fourth in its segment, ahead of the Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus.

Land Rover

2021 market share: 3.98%

2022 market share: 2.86%

Half Year Registrations: 22,905

Best Selling Model: Evoque

Land Rover’s strategy used to be that the Evoque and Discovery Sport provided volume, and Range Rover and Range Rover Sport provided fat margins, with Discovery somewhere in the middle. Sales of the smaller models have dropped sharply, which means the Range Rover Sport and the Defender (effectively the new Discovery) now outsell the Discovery Sport, and are not far behind the Evoque.


2021 market share: 0.79%

2022 market share: 0.61%

Half Year Registrations: 4866

Best Selling Model: UX

Lexus’s three crossover models are distinctly mid-table performers. The UX, NX and RX are all between 8th and 11th place in their respective segments. Lexus has great dealers and fabulous quality, but the likes of Audi and Volvo do not exactly score badly on those metrics, either.


2021 market share: 0.01%

2022 market share: 0.01%

Half Year Registrations: 79

Best Selling Model: N/A

Lotus’s sales virtually stopped while the company launched the Emira – only 13 cars were sold in the last two months. That is not necessarily a problem, as the Emira is the only car that matters to Lotus’s future.


2021 market share: 0.04%

2022 market share: 0.05%

Half Year Registrations: 416

Best Selling Model: N/A

The new Macan-rivalling Grecale has the task of relaunching Maserati in the UK. It is not the first model to have tried that – will it be the first to succeed?


2021 market share: 1.49%

2022 market share: 1.45%

Half Year Registrations: 11,619

Best Selling Model: CX-30

Both the CX30 and the CX-5 crossovers are doing reasonable business. However, the MX-30 EV, which trades range for a lower weight, is struggling. Sales YTD are just 541: people think the battery range is a bit mean, and are unaware of the method behind Mazda’s madness.


2021 market share: 6.47%

2022 market share: 5.71%

Half Year Registrations: 45,818

Best Selling Model: A-Class

Mercedes said last year that it would cut back on sales of lower-priced models (that is low-priced by Mercedes’ standards), in order to improve overall profit margins. It has been as good as its word: the A-Class is down by 42.9%.


2021 market share 1.49%

2022 market share: 3.13%

Half Year Registrations: 25,073

Best Selling Model: HS

MG’s best-seller is the C-segment crossover, the HS (40.4% of total MG sales). The HS is No. 6 in its segment, just behind the Ford Kuga, but ahead of the VW Tiguan.


2021 market share: 2.49%

2022 market share: 2.77%

Half Year Registrations: 2,2246

Best Selling Model: Hatch

The Mini hatch goes from strength to strength. It is the UK’s fourth best-selling model YTD, and represents 74.3% of total Mini sales. However, the Countryman (down 30.8%) and the Clubman (down 15.4%) have both under-performed compared to the overall market (down 11.9%)


2021 market share: 4.03%

2022 market share: 3.90%

Half Year Registrations: 31,296

Best Selling Model: Qashqai

The Qashqai is performing well: it has returned to the No.1 position in C-segment crossovers, and is No.3 in the overall market. However, the new-ish Juke is struggling. It is only No.6 in B-segment crossovers, a far cry from when the first-generation Juke was the runaway segment leader.


2021 market share: 3.82%

2022 market share: 3.99%

Half Year Registrations: 31,996

Best Selling Model: 208

Peugeot is recovering its strength in small cars: the 208 is up to fourth position in superminis, and the 2008 is fifth in B-segment crossovers. However, it is having a hard time with some larger models: the 308 and 5008 are barely mid-table performers, and the fairly new 508 has collapsed to just 316 registrations YTD.


2021 market share: 0.18%

2022 market share: 0.35%

Half Year Registrations: 2828

Best Selling Model: 2

Polestar continues to power ahead, with sales up 72.2% YTD. A cool, understated EV brand, it is the anti-Tesla: Scandinavian calm vs Elon Musk’s relentless bombast.


2021 market share: 0.64%

2022 market share: 1.04%

Half Year Registrations: 8372

Best Selling Model: Taycan

Porsche has an uncanny ability to enter new segments and become a leading player. It is now No. 1 in luxury saloons (Taycan), No 4 in luxury SUVs (Cayenne) and No. 6 in compact luxury SUVs (Macan).


2021 market share: 1.73%

2022 market share: 1.85%

Half Year Registrations: 14845

Best Selling Model: Captur

When it launched Dacia in the UK in 2013, Renault thought it was launching a low-cost alternative to used cars, not a major rival to its own models. Dacia actually outsold its parent in the month of June: a sign of things to come?

Rolls Royce

2021 market share: 0.02%

2022 market share: 0.03%

Half Year Registrations: 243

Best Selling Model: Cullinan

Market share continues to advance at a suitably stately pace. The big news is the arrival of a Rolls-Royce EV in late 2023. It will be fascinating to see how much refinement improves, given that the petrol engine was already barely perceptible.


2021 market share: 2.87%

2022 market share: 1.59%

Half Year Registrations:12787

Best Selling Model: Arona

All models are down by at least one-third, and most by a half. Seat is in danger of being cannibalised by Cupra, which is growing as fast as Seat is declining.


2021 market share: 3.62%

2022 market share: 2.84%

Half Year Registrations: 22,805

Best Selling Model: Kamik

Skoda is close to the bottom of the queue for VW semiconductors, so it is not performing terribly well at present. Nevertheless, it has two segment leaders: the Superb is the biggest selling large family saloon (ahead of the Passat), and the Kodiak is No. 1 in large non-premium crossovers (ahead of the Sorento).


2021 market share: 0.09%

2022 market share: 0.10%

Half Year Registrations: 821

Best Selling Model: fortwo

Weirdly, there are now two Smart companies (you might have doubted there was space in the market for one). Smart Europe is the new JV between Mercedes and Geely, and will sell the new B-segment #1 (yes, really), while the fortwo will continue to be sold through Mercedes, as it predates the Chinese JV.


2021 market share: 0.07%

2022 market share: 0.10%

Half Year Registrations: 774

Best Selling Model: Korando

SsangYong is on track to rival Aston Martin for the number of owners. The latest one (as of June 2022) is a South Korean chemicals and steel company that has paid about £550m for the company. Quite what they can do with a value brand that makes 85,000 vehicles a year in a high-cost country is anyone’s guess.


2021 market share: 0.09%

2022 market share: 0.07%

Half Year Registrations: 528

Best Selling Model: Outback

The outback is the only Subaru that still sells in measurable numbers. In principle, the recipe is pleasingly old-school – 2.5 litre, non-hybrid jacked-up estate with Subaru’s well-proven 4×4 system. In practice, it just seems to fall between the cracks: not a premium estate, not a full crossover.


2021 market share: 1.18%

2022 market share: 1.24%

Half Year Registrations: 9954

Best Selling Model: Vitara

No Suzuki is close to the top of its segment, but all models put in a respectable performance, especially, the Vitara. However, the rebadged Toyota models are (predictably) struggling. “Would you prefer your RAV4 badged as a Toyota or as a Suzuki Across” is a question that only 1% of buyers answer in favour of Suzuki.


2021 market share: 1.63%

2022 market share: 2.66%

Half Year Registrations: 21,309

Best Selling Model: Model Y

Note: Tesla figures are not reported separately by SMMT – figures are extracted from “Other Imports”

Both the Model 3 (ahead of the 3-Series) and the Model Y (ahead of the X4) are leading their respective segments. Elon’s not tweeting about that success, though.


2021 market share: 5.73%

2022 market share: 6.27%

Half Year Registrations: 50,256

Best Selling Model: Yaris

When Toyota first set up its factories in the UK, this is the sort of market share it had in mind, rather than the 4%-ish it spent most of the last 20 years stuck at. The AygoX, Yaris, Corolla are all Top 5 in their respective segments, while the Yaris Cross and RAV4 are both Top 10. A very solid performance across the board.


2021 market share 5.87%

2022 market share: 5.96%

Half Year Registrations: 47800

Best Selling Model: Corsa

With the Corsa at No.1 overall, and the Mokka at No.2 in B-segment crossovers, Vauxhall is doing very well in small cars. The new Astra has barely got going (under 1,000 registrations so far this year), so the jury is still out on what it can do in medium-sized hatchbacks. It is certainly not doing so well in medium-sized crossovers, as the Grandland is being outsold by the Renault Arkana and Skoda Karoq..


2021 market share 9.39%

2022 market share: 6.97%

Half Year Registrations: 55,894

Best Selling Model: Golf

The largest decline in sales of any of the Top 10 brands. VW is clearly diverting microchips to its more upmarket brands, but it has also promised to stop chasing volume. It is too early to tell how big a success its electric models will become: the ID3 has just got to No.10 in the C-segment, which is a reasonable start.


2021 market share: 2.98%

2022 market share: 2.39%

Half Year Registrations: 19,184

Best Selling Model: XC40

Market share has suffered this year, but its crossovers are still doing well. The XC40 is the best-selling compact premium model (ahead of the Q3), and the XC90 is No.2 in large premium models (behind the Defender). The XC60 is No.5 in medium premium crossovers.


It was a good time to be selling:

Battery electric vehicles: BEVs (14.4%) have overtaken hybrids (11.4%), and are now the UK’s second-most popular form of propulsion behind petrol (57.4%), but ahead of diesel (10.4%)

Value brands: Both MG and Dacia saw sales rise by more than 75%.

Supermini crossovers: the only significant sub-segment to see sales actually rise (up 17.2%). They outsold supermini hatchbacks for the first time ever.

It was a bad time to be selling:

Big saloons and estates: Not for the first time, the two segments that saw the biggest falls were D-segment large family cars (down 31.5%) and executive models, such as the 5-Series (down 27.2%)

Plug-in hybrids: For the first time, sales of PHEVs actually fell. They were down 11.9%, exactly in line with the overall market.

Anything that competes with crossovers: Manufacturers are prioritising scarce microchips for more profitable crossovers, whether that is the Puma over the Fiesta, or the X3 over the 3-Series.

David Francis

Source: Autocar

Leave a Reply