UK drivers are going for smaller cars, as factors like fuel economy and a new company car tax scheme influence buying decisions. The supermini segment has grown by more than 4.5 per cent over the last five years as buyers increasingly switch to smaller vehicles, according to Motor Industry FACTS – 2002, just published by the SMMT.
Small cars now come with more standard equipment and safety features, with an array of extras that would have previously been reserved for larger executive models. Air bags, anti-lock brakes, CD-players and air conditioning are now the norm, making these cars true ‘super minis’.
Real diversity in the segment is also helping woo drivers. Super economical diesel engines where 60mpg can be expected as the norm, right through to range topping performance models offering genuine driver involvement and allow buyers to choose the car that best suits their lifestyle.
Commenting on the change in buying habits, SMMT Chief Executive Christopher Macgowan said, ‘There is an incredible amount of competition in this segment and consumers are benefiting from this. Practically all the volume manufacturers have a supermini model in their range and the level of equipment fitted as standard is now quite phenomenal. The barriers to smaller motoring have been removed and buyers have recognised this’.
Top five selling superminis in 2001
1. Ford Fiesta 98,221
2. Peugeot 206 97,887
3. Vauxhall Corsa 93,792
4. Renault Clio 79,843
5. Fiat Punto 59,573
(Attachment shows trends)
Information can be found on pages two and three of Motor Industry FACTS – 2002.