April 2020 also recorded a number of significant firsts for the British new car market, with the following notable premiers:
The first time electric cars have taken almost a third of total UK new cars sales, accounting to 31.8 per cent (a high proportion that we will all become increasingly used to over the coming years).
The first time ever that an electric car has taken the top sales position (as well as number two, with three pure-electric models making the Top Ten sales) in the UK
The first time in history that an American-built car has topped the British sales chart (the Tesla Model 3, at 658 units).
The first time in 43-years, since the UK launch of the original Ford Fiesta in 1977, that this popular hatchback has not appeared in the UK Top Ten sales chart.
The first time the electric Nissan Leaf has outsold its popular Qashqai crossover sibling.
The first time a Peugeot 308 has outsold its traditionally more-popular C-Segment rivals; the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra.
The ten best selling cars in the UK, April 2020:
- Tesla Model 3
- Jaguar I-Pace
- Vauxhall Corsa
- Vauxhall Crossland-X
- Ford Tourneo Custom
- Peugeot Rifter
- Seat Leon
- Mercedes-Benz A-Class
- Nissan Leaf
- Peugeot 308
With new car showrooms forced into lockdown from late March, along with many other businesses in the UK, predictably pre-ordered fleet sales to the business sector accounted for the majority (71.5 per cent) of the grim April sales total (equalling 3,090 cars) with private buyer cars amounting to only 871 units – a year-on-year decline of almost 99 per cent!
The historic Number One sales position of the Tesla Model 3 (the first electric and first American car to top UK sales) was largely due to a ship load of the models arriving on British shores and available for delivery to keen buyers in April, with 658 sold. In second place was the electric Jaguar I-Pace (the Coventry brand’s highest ever sales placing) with 367 examples delivered. A combination of both the new-generation and previous Vauxhall Corsa models came in third position with 264 sales.
The remainder of April’s Top Ten UK registrations look equally unusual, with a few first-time appearances, such as the Ford Tourneo Custom in fifth place (108 units), the Peugeot Rifter in sixth (98 cars), Seat Leon seventh (80), Nissan Leaf ninth (72) and Peugeot 308 in tenth position (67 examples). Top Ten ‘regulars’ included Vauxhall’s Crossland X as April’s forth best-seller (143 delivered) and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class in eighth (72 registered).