Ford Focus maintains number 1 spot in 2006

The Ford Focus was the most popular car in the UK in 2006 – continuing a trend that has existed for the past eight years, new statistics reveal.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a total of 137,694 petrol Focuses were sold in 2006.

The model was also the most popular diesel car, shifting 48,929 units throughout the year, with another Ford, the Mondeo, occupying third place with 35,127 sales.

Other petrol Fords in the top ten list for 2006 included the Fiesta in third place and Mondeo in ninth place. The second most popular car last year was the Vauxhall Astra, according to the SMMT.

The society pointed out in its report that 2006 had been a difficult year for the motor industry, with factors such as interest rate rises and fuel price fluctuations creating uncertainty.

Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the SMMT, said: "Although we can expect another tough 12 months ahead, that is not to say that it is all doom and gloom – 2007 promises a host of new models along with the potential for attractive showroom offers to tempt the buyer."

One positive trend of 2006 occurred in the diesel market, which experienced record demand, with 898,521 vehicles registered across the year.

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