Global information services group, Experian, announced this year that the biggest growth in used car sales came from the 4×4 sector.
Last year, 4×4 companies saw a sales increase of 5.2 per cent compared to 2011. Despite the difficult economic climate, people are turning to larger vehicles, with the most popular selling 4×4 being the Land Rover Freelander; itself seeing a 4.5 per cent increase in sales from retailers such as Hunters Land Rover.
Although Land Rover found an increase in sales, the same cannot be said for Ford’s MPV, the Ford S-MAX, which felt a large decline in sales.
To accompany Ford, BMW’s Mini also found its ‘supermini’ knocked off of the top selling spot for the best-selling used car type by a lower medium model for the first time since 2007.
All however is not lost for Ford, as although the Fiesta was knocked off of the best-selling used car of 2012, it was replaced instead by the Ford Focus after a 4.5 per cent increase in sales.
With the Fiesta falling into second place, it was joined very closely by the Vauxhall Corsa, with both vehicles seeing a sales increase during 2012.
But how did hybrid cars fair in 2012?
With such an increase in 4X4 sales, one might suspect a slip in the hybrid market. With the two cars often pitted against each other by the media, there must be a loser in here somewhere?
Surprisingly perhaps, the hybrid market actually felt an increase of 47% per cent, with the Toyota Prius seeing a sales increase of 35 per cent alone.
With that in mind, it seems that 2013 may well be another lucrative year for the hybrid vehicle with Ford selling five times as many hybrid vehicles in January of this year compared to one year ago.
According to a J.D. Power Survey published in 2012, 23 per cent of consumers stated that they are likely to buy a conventional hybrid vehicle in the future, most predominantly the Toyota Prius or Ford Fusion Hybrid.
So where is the future leading sales?
With an increase in sales for both 4X4 vehicles and their hybrid contemporaries, 2013 should produce an interesting year in terms of sales for both sectors.
Currently, both car types are working on efficiency and emissions, but who exactly will play a greater role in the market is as of yet unclear.
“The latest analysis indicates that the 4×4 may be gaining weight in the family market as the MPV sees a drop in sales for the first time in over seven years.
“In addition, the significant growth in sales of dual fuel cars and, in particular the Toyota Prius, shows that motorists are increasingly keen to make greener choices with more of these models now in the used car market.
“By optimising their mix of stock to reflect changes in market trends and regional preferences, dealers can ensure they are in the best possible position to maximise all sales opportunities and meet customer demand.”