TodayApril 15, 2022

The U.K.s fastest growing car brands

Using the latest government data on licensed and registered vehicles, regtransfers has worked out which car brands have seen the most growth over the last 20 years.

New data released from reveals the fastest growing car brands over the past 20 years, uncovering a luxury car boom and how British automaker MG has made a big comeback.

Over the past 20 years, regtransfers has seen an influx of cars taking to the roads in the U.K. With data showing the most popular cars from 1998 to the present day, regtransfers has been able to analyze the percentage growth of each brand by looking at the number of new cars registered and spot the trends that have emerged.

KIA saw the biggest growth rate between 1998 and 2002

Between 1998 and 2002, Kia saw a 3090% growth rate, starting off with 48 cars on the road in 1998 and finishing at just over 1,500 in 2002. It continued to enhance its reputation as a reliable brand, making a mark as one of the fastest growing car brands until 2012. By 2012 Kia had over 60,000 (61,372) new cars registered and had a 131% growth rate. But despite Kia’s huge growth over previous years, the number of new cars registered has dropped considerably.

The Fiat 500 revival

The Fiat 500 turned 60 last year – and while its modern-day incarnation may be the one you see each day, the carmaker claims 400,000 of the tiny originals are still on the road today. They had the biggest spurt between 1998 and 2002 with a 933% growth rate, but despite huge growth in the late 90’s, the Fiat 500 has recently been knocked off the charts by luxury cars like Bentley, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin.

The rise of the luxury car

Britain’s love for the luxury car is on the rise, with registrations increasing year on year. Brands including Porsche, Mclaren, and Lamborghini are among the key automotive firms stimulating the surge. The increase in sales of luxury cars could be down to an increase in consumer confidence after several years of austerity.

Bentley has seen the biggest percentage growth over the past 20 years – particularly between 2003 and 2007 – with a 766% growth rate.

Between 2008 and 2012 McLaren had a surge in the number of new cars registered, going from 41 in 2008 to 129 by 2012, making a growth rate of 215%. After recently just delivering its 15,000th car, it has seen an even bigger growth rate of 581% in the last four years. However, it looks like the McLaren could get knocked off the luxury car sales top spot, as the findings show Maserati is making a come back, with a 506% growth rate in the last four years.

The MG comebackd

All brands aim to increase their sales year by year, but few can match the growth that MG has enjoyed recently. The MG; a classical car which is looked at as one of the pinnacles of British motoring, was established way back in the 1920’s.

In the late 1990’s into the early 2000’s MG’s only had a growth rate of 337%. However, between the years of 2008 and 2012, it increased to 469% and this spike in sales continued into the last few years, with a recent growth rate of 782%, making it the fastest growing car brand of 2017 in the UK.

The much-loved, iconic MG has been recognized globally for its line-up of stylish, quality made cars and has gone from strength-to-strength. Since 2013, the British brand has released a completely new generation of MG’s to the UK market which includes the trendy MG3 – a practical, fun-to-drive supermini, family-SUV, MG GS and more recently the affordable, compact SUV, MG ZS.

Arrival of Tesla

Elon Musk seems to be everywhere all at once at the minute, pushing all kinds of incredible new technologies, with Tesla being one of them – and if the arrival of Tesla in the UK market is anything to go by, the roads will be dominated by electric cars in the very near future. Tesla has had a 621% growth rate between 2013 and 2017 and at the end of last year, was in the top 3 fastest growing car brands.

Since its inception in 2003, Tesla has pushed the development of electric cars at a rate unmatched by any mainstream manufacturer. Other car brands that are growing fast include Infiniti, Ssangyong, and Abarth.

“There will always be trends when it comes to cars, but one thing that will never change is people’s love for a high-quality, nice looking cars, so it’s no surprise that MG, Infiniti, and Tesla are now seeing a spike in the number of new cars registered, Rick Cager of Regtransfers commented.

Electric cars are on the rise and we should expect to see our roads dominated by them in years to come, so if you’re thinking about getting a new car, an electrified vehicle which is both visually appealing and also great for the environment is a very good choice.”

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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