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Ford Leads UK Sales as Rush for “66 Plates” Gets Underway

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Ford Fiesta and Ford Transit Custom

Ford Fiesta and Ford Transit Custom

Ford’s sales in the UK totaled 11,703 vehicles in August, with the automaker leading both passenger and commercial sales. The strong sales in August and anticipated strong sales in September are thanks to the rush associated with being among the first to register a “66-plate” vehicle.

If you’re not a UK resident or not familiar with the Kingdom’s plate system (and, really, who isn’t?), a bit of explanation might be in order. According to, the two numbers on a UK plate indicate the age of a vehicle and are changed twice a year. From this past march until September 1st, the numbers were 16. From September to February 2017, the numbers will be 66. The numbers will respectively increase by one digit to 17 and 67, and they will increase at that rate into perpetuity—or at least until 2050, at which point the second set of numbers will reach 100 and the system will be up for review.

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

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According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Ford led UK sales in terms of passenger car, commercial, and overall sales in August. The Fiesta (4,547 registrations) and Focus (2,519 registrations) were the respective No. 1 and No. 2 best-selling cars, and the Transit Custom (1,582 registrations) was the best-selling CV. Ford vehicles occupied 25% of the spots in the UK’s top 20 sellers list, with the Kuga ranking 10th and Transit ranking 17th.

Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta

Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta

“Strong Ford CV sales see us holding over 30% of the commercial vehicle market, a testament to the strength and breadth of the Transit brand, and with the efficient new EcoBlue diesel engine now installed in the Transit and Transit Custom, we expect to see our share increase further,” said Ford of Britain Chairman and Managing Director Andy Barratt.

“Our car sales also remain strong as we gear up for the bumper September month, bolstered by the sporty new ST-Line models—Fiesta, Focus, Kuga, and Mondeo, and the arrival of the Edge SUV range in our dealerships.”

Ford’s August share of the passenger car market in the UK was 14.3%.

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