Over 8,000 Ford Fiestas were sold in May, making it the best-selling car of the month and securing its place at the top of the sales charts in 2011 with nearly 43,000 sold.
The Ford Focus, whose latest generation was launched in the UK in March, was the second best-seller in May with 6,500 sales.
It is also the second most popular model in 2011 as a whole with 35,000 sales, 5,000 more than the third place Vauxhall Corsa.
In May, the Corsa was fourth most popular car behind the Volkswagen Golf. The Vauxhall Astra and Vauxhall Insignia completed a hat-trick of Vauxhall cars in the top six best-sellers.
Ford remained the most popular manufacturer overall and total Ford sales grew 1.32 per cent compared to the same month in 2010 despite 11 consecutive months of sales decline in the UK industry.
However, the figures, released by the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today, show cause for optimism according to SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt.
“New car registrations for May were down just 1.7% on 2010 levels, with strong performances in the fleet and business sectors,” he said. “Consumers remain cautious, but with significantly improved fuel economy, service plans and more affordable finance, there is great value on offer across the market.”
He expects car sales to reach an estimated target of 1.93 million before the end of the year, down on 2010 but still a marked improvement over lows in 2008 and 2009.
The current figure stands at 846,513 cars sold in 2011, 7.3 per cent less than the same period in 2010 after eleven months of decline in new car sales.