The figures for new-car sales in this country in the first-third of 1971, as released in those informative SMM & T reports, follow the pattern of last April’s trend. Thus British Leyland head the list with an impressive 175,799 private cars (up by 24,441), followed by Vauxhall with 48,296 (up by 7,334), Ford with 64,266 (down by 46,078) and Chrysler UK with 46,357 (up by 5,522)—the figures in brackets referring to the same period last year.
Lotus sold 593 cars, the recent slight drop not yet apparent, as they were eight up on 1970, but Reliant and Jensen were down, the British total being 337,152, or a reduction of 8,902. In contrast, imports rose by 28,696 to 75,265, the leading importers being VW with 16,042 (plus-4,647), Renault with 15,147 (plus-5,264) and Fiat with 10,054 (plus-3,218) private cars, only Alfa Romeo dropping sales, by 118 cars. Opel showed a significant advance, increasing to the extent of 2,465 cars, and Chrysler France had an even greater uplift, of 3,678 cars. Saabs, too, were in much increased demand, as were Volvos.