Ford Focus tops January sales

A new 2011 Ford Focus will be launched in March but the current model remains popular with UK buyers after over 7,500 were sold in January according to figures from the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The Ford Focus was the top-selling car in 2010 in the UK and a new more efficient and better equipped version is expected to increase sales further over the course of 2011.

Ford’s dominance was outlined by the Fiesta supermini, which finished in second place in the top ten best-sellers list.

Over 5,800 Fiestas were sold in January, over 1,500 more than its nearest rival. The Fiesta benefited from buyers moving towards smaller, more efficient and less expensive to run cars during the tough economic climate.

As was the case in 2010, Vauxhall also recorded strong sales with the family-size Astra and Corsa supermini coming third and fourth respectively. The Insignia saloon also appeared in the top ten in eighth place.

Small cars such as the Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Polo and Peugeot 207 also appeared in the top ten alongside a single luxury car, the BMW 3-Series and the Nissan Qashqai SUV crossover.

However, the increase in VAT to 20 per cent and rising fuel prices meant new car registrations fell for the seventh successive month in January.

The increase in fuel prices also pushed diesel sales above petrol. The Ford Focus was the top-selling diesel car in January thanks to Ford’s diesel ECOnetic engines, which lower CO2 emissions to as little as 99g/km and boost fuel consumption up to 74.2mpg on the best-performing models.

The figures show a trend towards buying ‘greener’ cars to bring down motoring costs in 2011, a fact Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive agrees with: "Despite the challenging conditions, the demand for low CO2 emitting and highly fuel efficient cars continues to grow.”