Fascinating facts among last year’s vehicle sales figures

By David Thomson on Sat, 26 Jan 2013

After revealing our picks from the past year in the previous two issues, Drivesouth's review of 2012 concludes in this issue with a look at last year's new-car sales trends.

The basis of this review is the literally dozens of tables of data provided by the Motor Industry Association as a year-end review.

The tables contain a wealth of detail, slicing and dicing sales for 2012 and years past in many different ways: by make, by model, by customer type (private, business, government, rental), by vehicle type (small, medium, sports car, etc), by price bracket and so on.

I've done my best to condense this information and provide an overview of key trends in the accompanying story. As ever, though, there are a few interesting bits and pieces that don't really sit in an overview story.

These include some of the sales trends for the small-volume, high-end super-premium brands. Here, 2012 saw Rolls-Royce make an impressive gain, increasing registrations from one vehicle in 2011 to six in 2012. Sales for Bentley (from 11 to 16), Ferrari (from 13 to 16) and Lamborghini (from 5 to 7) were also up on last year.

Not such good news for Aston Martin, where registrations halved from 30 cars in 2011 to 15 in 2012.

Another interesting detail to be gleaned from the sales tables is the split by buyer type.

Private buyers account for just under a third of newæcar sales, while business buyers account for just over half. The balance is made up of sales to rental car firms (more than 10%) and the Government. Rental and private sales were the two biggest growth areas in 2012.

Turning to 2013, we are also back into our core business of introducing a couple of new models in this issue. The first is the latest version of the Mitsubishi Outlander, which succeeds a predecessor that was, at its peak, the top-selling model in the burgeoning medium SUV segment. The second is the Subaru BRZ, which is the Subaru version of the Toyota 86.

David Thomson