Ford breaks 250,000 sales mark

The Blue Oval has now sold over 266,000 cars this year, 36,000 more than Vauxhall in second place according to the latest figures from the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders.

The figures are down to the success of the Ford Fiesta supermini and Ford Focus family hatchback, which topped the November sales charts with 6,400 and 5,500 sold respectively.

It completes a year of dominance for the Fiesta, which has finished as the best-selling UK car in 10 out of the 11 months so far and has outsold the second best-selling car, the Vauxhall Astra, by over 23,000.

However, as the new car market dipped by over 11 per cent in November, Ford has now sold less than eight per cent less cars than the same point last year when the scrappage scheme was in full swing.

As a whole, the new car market is doing better than expected, says the SMMT, which calculated 1.9 million cars have been sold in 2011 compared to a little over 1.8 million in 2009.

Over two million cars are expected to be sold this year, but the car industry faces a challenge in 2011 as the rise in VAT from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent comes into force on 1 January 2011.

Many manufacturers are expected to offer VAT-freeze deals or subsidise the increase themselves to win sales after the rise, which could add several hundred pounds to the price of a new car.

Ford will hope the new 2011 Ford Focus, complete with redesigned suspension and a range of more efficient EcoBoost petrol engines, will boost sales in 2011.

A Sport Tourer version will also be available, while the updated C-Max and Grand C-Max, released earlier this year, are also expected to finish the year strongly.