In Depth

Best-selling cars in August 2019: Tesla Model 3 storms into the top 10

Popular EV makes its chart debut just two months after sales open in the UK

The results are in for the best-selling cars during August and it’s been another strong month for electric and hybrid vehicles.

According to the latest new car registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the Tesla Model 3 led a strong charge from the electrified segment, with sales up by 377% year-on-year.

A total of 3,147 “fully electric” cars were registered last month, eclipsing the 659 battery-electric vehicles delivered to customers in Britain a year ago, says automotive news site Motoring Research.

The official results table simply lists the vehicle in third place as “other”, but Auto Express says it “understands” that the Model 3 is the mysterious entry.  

The popular EV was beaten only by the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golf, two particularly strong-selling cars that have frequently appeared at the top of the sales charts throughout the year.

Overall registrations declined by 1.6% compared to the same period last year, but Autocar heralds the drop as being “notably lower” than this year’s average drop of 3.4%. The total number of registrations peaked at 92,573 last month, a decrease of just 1,521 cars compared to August 2018’s results. 

Petrol car sales increased by 1% year-on-year and accounted for 65.5% of all cars sold in August, the motoring magazine says. Diesels, however, dropped by 12.2%, representing the fuel type’s 29th “consecutive month of decline”. 

What’s behind the surge in Model 3 sales?

The Model 3 went on sale in June, meaning it has taken just two months for it to appear in the top ten for car sales in Britain. 

Auto Express believes that the sudden surge in sales is the result of “pent-up demand” for the EV. The US carmaker has prioritised its home market since launching the Model 3, as its facilities “struggled to produce enough cars” to meet demand. 

But the “floodgates have now opened” since the car’s arrival, which helps to “partly explain why it features in the top-10 best-sellers’ list”, the mag notes. 

The ten best-selling cars in August

1 - Ford Fiesta (3,978 cars registered)

2 - Volkswagen Golf (3,439)

3 - Tesla Model 3 (2,082)

4 - Ford Focus (1,886)

5 - Mercedes-Benz A-Class (1,880)

6 - Ford Kuga (1,770)

7 - VW T-Roc (1,685)

8 - VW Tiguan (1,632)

9 - Vauxhall Corsa (1,592)

10 - Ford Ecosport (1,477)

And the ten best-selling cars so far this year

1 - Ford Fiesta (52,921)

2 - Volkswagen Golf (39,220)

3 - Ford Focus (37,988)

4 - Vauxhall Corsa (34,653)

5 - Nissan Qashqai (34,498)

6 - Mercedes-Benz A-Class (33,486)

7 - VW Polo (27,455)

8 - Ford Kuga (25,116)

9 - Mini (24,125)

10 - Kia Sportage (22,367)

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