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10 best selling cars in Northern Ireland 2015 - where is your Qashqai, Captur or Polo in the list?

By Rachel Martin

Over 57,000 cars were sold in Northern Ireland last year which was a small reduction in the number of vehicles rolling of forecourts in the previous year, new figures reveal.

Only here and Scotland saw a slowdown in the new car market in 2014, while England and Wales both saw growth in the sector.

>>Check out the gallery above for the Top 10<<

The latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that just over 57,000 new cars were sold across the region last year - a drop of less than 0.25% on the year before and similar to the stagnation seen in Scotland.

However, that was a long way off the 2.25m sold in England, where dealers saw an increase in new car sales of 7% in 2015.

In December new car sales in Northern Ireland were down 3.23% compared to the same month the year before.

Meanwhile, there was a 10% increase in England.

The Ford Fiesta finished up on top, clinching the spot as the most popular for the year overall with 2,400 sold in 2015 - 600 more than the VW Golf in second place. The Mini, a new entrant to the top 10, stole the top position for the month of December, with 73 new cars registered here.

Vauxhall also had a good month, with its Mokka, Corsa and Astra models making it on to the list at second, forth and ninth.

The VW Polo remained out of the top 10 in Northern Ireland in December, a casualty of the continuing emissions scandal.

Richard Ramsey, chief economist at Ulster Bank, said that while retailers here had experienced a "mini-boom", car showrooms had been left out of the party. "The figures show that whilst the UK as a whole saw new car sales hit a record high in 2015, Northern Ireland new car sales remain in the slow lane, recording the first annual fall - albeit a very small one - since 2011," he added.

The SMMT figures also showed the expected seasonal drop in car sales, with an average decline of 50% in sales across the top 10 models sold here when comparing the August and December figures.

However, the Golf was hit harder than most, with just 53 sold here in December, almost a third of the number sold in August.

Volkswagen subsidiary Audi's UK market share rose to 6.42%, but its Seat brand saw a decrease of over 10% and Skoda saw a 1% drop.

In the last quarter of 2015 an internal investigation by the group found "irregularities" in emissions levels thought to affect 800,000 cars in Europe. The probe revealed CO2 emissions and fuel consumption were also understated during standards tests.

The blow came just weeks after the company admitted cheating nitrogen oxide level tests.

Top 10 cars of 2015

Ford Fiesta: 2,407

Volkswagen Golf: 1,856

Ford Focus: 1,713

Volkswagen Polo: 1,587

Vauxhall Corsa: 1,456

Nissan Qashqai: 1,216

Vauxhall Mokka: 1,159

Ford Kuga: 1,143

Renault Clio: 1,075

Renault Captur: 1,003

Total in Top 10: 14,615

Northern Ireland Grand Total: 57,097

Belfast Telegraph


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