UK 2022. Auto Market Falls To Lowest Level In 16 Years

The 2023 Kia Sportage
The 2023 Kia Sportage

British vehicles market closes at 1.62 million sales, a 1.9% decrease from the prior year and the lowest level in 16 years. December grows for the 3rd month in a row, with 129,462 new registrations.

Market Trend and Outlook

The British auto market closes the year totaling 1.62 million sales, a 1.9% decrease from the prior year and the lowest level in 16 years. In December sales grew 19.2% with 129,462 new registrations, making it the 3rd positive month in a row. 

Looking at cumulative data from 2022, brand-wise Volkswagen with 131,850 sales (-10.8%) maintains 1st position in front of Ford at 126,826 (+9.0%).

In 3rd position ranks Audi with 110,144 sales (-6.6%), followed by BMW with 108,624 (-6.8%), Toyota  with 102,181 (+1.3%) and Kia with 100,191 sales (+10.3%).

Opel maintains 7th with 83,691 sales (-8.5%), in front of Mercedes with 80,910 (-17.4%), Hyundai with 80,419 (+15.4%) and Nisan closing the Top 10 with 76,711 (+12.0%).

Medium-Term Market Trend

The decline of the British vehicles market was already in place since a couple of decades, with the relocation of several manufacturing activities in other low cost European countries, but the exit from the European Community has further accelerated the process, starting from the long discussions about BREXIT.

Indeed the market reached a record level in 2016 (2.6 million annual sales) and then started to decline. The pandemic in 2020 further accelerated the process pushing the industry down at 1.6 million and rather to recover, it seems that the market direction is still down.

Indeed, the effects of current global threats, including record inflation rate, increased fuel price, political instability, transition to electrification, raw materials shortage, are emphasized in UK but the economic effects of BREXIT.


Tables with sales figures

In the tables below we report sales for the top 40 Brands and top 10 Manufacturers Groups.

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