Ford Fiesta still top car but Corsa closes gap

A huge rise in the popularity of small cars has seen the Vauxhall Corsa move to within 300 sales of the Ford Fiesta in August, overtaking the larger Ford Focus in the process.

According to the latest figures from the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders, small car sales have increased by up to 17 per cent in the past month as the cost of owning a car spirals.

Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Consumers are nervous about the future, but with industry offering unprecedented improvements in fuel economy, competitive finance offers and a wide variety of new models, buyers will find there is something to suit every taste and pocket.”

He believes lower prices in the run up to the new ’61’ registration plates in September and a move towards more fuel-efficient engines has seen demand for small cars increase rapidly in recent months.

The likes of the Fiesta, Corsa and the Peugeot 207 are all in the top ten best-sellers of 2011 while small family cars such as the Focus and Vauxhall Astra also appear in the top ten.

The increase in demand for small cars has seen the car sales rise by 7.3 per cent compared to August 2010 – the first time the market has improved in the past 13 months.

August represents a relatively small share of the new car market and the September new 61-plate registrations will be far more important for vehicle manufacturers and franchised dealers,” Everitt added.

As a result, Ford has lowered the price of both the Fiesta and Focus in time for the new registration plates. A new trim level, Studio, has been introduced for both models with prices now as low as £9,450 and £14,000 respectively.

The new Ford Fiesta Studio and Ford Focus Studio are available from UK Ford dealerships now.