Despite Detroit-based Ford producing the Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta on foreign shores, the two best-selling cars in the UK in 2011 finished fifth and seventh respectively during a poll of Britain’s favourite cars.
The surprising result is testament to the popularity of the small Fiesta and the Focus family car in the UK, and their long-running sales success on British shores.
Voters in the poll conducted by Manheim Auctions could point to the EcoBoost petrol engines used in both cars as an example of British-built engineering.
The EcoBoost engines are designed and built exclusively in the UK at the Bridgend and Dagenham facilities, where they are exported worldwide for the likes of the Ford Focus.
Elsewhere on the top ten list, the Ellesmere Port-built Vauxhall Astra was named the tenth most popular British car.
Both the Astra hatchback and the new Sports Tourer are built at the Cheshire plant, which has been labelled ‘world class’ by Vauxhall chief Nick Reilly in the past.
Alongside the more modern cars, classic models such as the Jaguar E-Type, the iconic sports car named the most beautiful car in the world by Enzo Ferrari, also made the top ten list.
The winner was the pre-1980 Mini, but there was also room for luxury British cars from Rolls Royce, Aston Martin and Bentley in the list.
The survey also showed some good news for UK manufacturers after 60 per cent of motorists asked said they would prefer to buy a British made car if money was no object.
Jaguar and Land Rover both build all of their cars in the UK, while Ford and Renault both build vans in UK-based plants.
The top 10 poll of ‘British’ cars:
Mini (pre 1980)
Jaguar E Type