Scottish buyers turning to France

August sales figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show sales of French manufacturer Renault’s top three selling models increased in August, compared to a decrease for the likes of Ford and Vauxhall.

The Renault Clio, the fifth best-selling car in August, leapt from 111 cars sold in August 2009 to 122 in 2010. Similarly, the Renault Megane, helped by the release of the new Coupe-Cabriolet body style, saw sales nearly double to 114.

The tenth best-seller, the Renault Scenic enjoyed a year-on-year increase of nearly 130 per cent to complete a good month for the French manufacturer.

Meanwhile, the two best-sellers, the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus, sold less than 2009, possibly because two updated models are due to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show at the end of the month.

Despite having three cars in the top ten best-sellers, Vauxhall suffered a slight dip in sales of the Corsa, Astra and Insignia, but remained one of the most popular manufacturers for Scottish buyers.

While other manufacturers struggled, a leap in sales of the Mazda2 supermini ensured it was the eighth best-selling car in Scotland in August, the first time a car from the Japanese manufacturer has featured in the list.

Many of Mazda’s sales are to fleet buyers – 67 per cent compared to an industry average of 51 per cent – leading Mazda UK National Sales Manager David Wilson-Green to explain.

"Private buyers appreciate we offer value for money because we have focused on keeping our residual prices strong. We have also worked hard to win local business users rather than chase costly, high volume fleet sales," he said.