Vauxhall defies UK sales dip

Nearly 10,000 Vauxhall Corsa and Vauxhall Astra cars were sold in the UK in April, pushing sales up to the 18,000 mark for the month.

The sales are even more impressive because of supply issues affecting much of the industry after the tsunami in Japan that restricted vital parts across the globe.

It also shows Vauxhall actually increased sales in April once scrappage scheme sales from 2010 are taken out of the final figures – an impressive feat considering the industry as a whole dipped by 7.4 per cent in April.

Vauxhall’s individual success included the Vauxhall Astra hatchback and Sports Tourer versions, both built at the Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, finishing third in the overall best-selling car charts for April.

The updated Vauxhall Corsa supermini was the fourth best seller in April and the third overall for 2011, while the third Vauxhall to make the top ten was the Vauxhall Insignia, whose saloon and estate versions were the best sellers in its sector.

The success of the Insignia has been boosted by a resurgence of interest in the fleet sector, where businesses are replacing their fleets with more efficient vehicles to cut costs.

Vauxhall was one of few manufacturers to record strong sales in April according to the figures from the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), but chief executive Paul Everitt believes the industry will begin to recover later in 2011.

He said: "The coming months will remain challenging, but we do expect to see a return to growth in the second half of the year."

The SMMT predicts 1.93 million cars will be sold in 2011, with nearly a quarter of a million of those wearing the Vauxhall badge if the sales success continues.