Ford Fiesta steals Golf’s crown

The popular supermini has benefitted from Ford cutting prices by as much as 15 per cent in the wake of the scrappage scheme, according to automotive intelligence group JATO Dynamics.

Ford sold 68,630 Fiestas in March 2010 while the VW Golf sales dropped as the German market continued to struggle.

Even more impressive for Ford is the 25.8 per cent growth in sales compared to last year. In 2010, Ford has closed the gap on the VW Golf in each month, finally surpassing it to become Europe’s number one car.

In total, the Fiesta sold more than 11,000 models more than the Golf, leading explained David Di Girolamo, Head of JATO Consult, to say: "What may appear to be a sudden change in fortunes is actually a continuing trend. Fiesta has been closing the gap to Golf through 2010."

The UK was the key market for Ford, making up 34 per cent of all Fiesta sales in March. The UK remains the biggest market for the supermini.

Ford remained the best-selling brand, extending its lead over Volkswagen thanks to the Fiesta and Ford Focus models.

Meanwhile, the British-built Vauxhall Astra was the most improved model in the top ten best-sellers this year. It sold 42.9 per cent more models in March compared to 2009.

In the UK, the Astra was the third biggest-selling car and saw a rise of over 73 per cent in the UK.

Elsewhere, the Renault Clio sales grew by 56.2 per cent, moving the car into the top three selling models in Europe. In the top ten, the Peugeot 207, Ford Focus, Fiat Punto and Fiat Panda also saw sales increase.