Drivers of both petrol and diesel cars sporting last month's new '04' number plate made the Ford Focus their number one choice. Overall 23,190 Focus models were sold in March – pushing the car's volumes more than 14 per cent higher than the same month last year. The Focus has enjoyed 46 months as the nation's favourite since May 2000.

Market leader Ford scored an impressive 1-2 in the diesel sector with Focus and Mondeo for the second time this year, according to SMMT figures out today. In March the Focus was best selling diesel, clocking up 6,696 registrations, and Mondeo came a close second on 6,630. Two months earlier, in January, Mondeo was the favourite diesel with Focus only 96 units behind.

Overall Ford secured a market share of 14 per cent in March and 15.1 per cent year to date, both around half a percentage point more than the same time last year. Fiesta and Mondeo join Focus in Britain's top 10 favourite cars. One in five light commercial vehicles with '04' plates are Fords and almost one in four pick-ups. The Ka and Fiesta vans, together with Transit and Tourneo Connect, accounted for 20.3 per cent of the segment and a volume of 2,568 units – a thumping 49 per cent more than March 2003. Ford Ranger volumes are similarly storming ahead – up 78 per cent on 12 months ago.

Private car buyers put three Fords in their top 10 – Fiesta, Focus and Ka. More Ka models were sold in the retail sector last month than in March 2003.

Ford of Britain Managing Director, Paul Thomas said: "Diesel sales are surging in Britain and Ford has shown it has the right products to benefit from this trend. With private buyers taking over half the market last month, Ford has once again clearly shown itself to be Britain's retail favourite."

Published : 07/04/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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