Fiat increased its share of the UK’s new car market to almost 3% in September – its highest level in four years.
The Italian carmaker said it sold 9,818 new cars last month, pushing its market share up by almost 0.4% on September 2007.
The announcement follows the release of official figures that show overall car sales slumped in September for the fifth consecutive month.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), last month’s new car registrations were down 21.2% on September 2007.
And despite increasing its market share, Fiat’s sales have still been affected by the market downturn. Official records show it sold 1,097 fewer cars last month than in September 2007.
But the efficient new Fiat 500, which was launched earlier this year, seems to have helped Fiat attract custom from its rivals. More than 3,600 of the efficient superminis were sold in September alone.
Fiat’s managing director in the UK, Andrew Humberstone, said: ‘We expect the fourth quarter to be challenging but, that said, we believe we are positioned to face these challenges.
‘There has been a shift in consumer buying behaviour, and people are choosing to downsize into the small car sector – an area which is clearly one of our primary strengths.’
SMMT figures show fuel-efficient diesels (such as the VW Golf) became more popular with new-car buyers last month, increasing their share of the market to 42.8%.
Only the supermini sector actual experienced sales growth.
You can also read our first look review of the Fiat Bravo on the Which? website.