Analysis of vehicles bought by PHH Vehicle Management Services from 1992 to the first six months of 1996 shows MPV registrations booming and 4x4s declining. From 1992 to 1993 the number of 4x4 vehicles purchased by PHH doubled to 1.8% of its fleet, rose to 1.9% in 1994 before declining in the last 18 months to 1.6% with Land Rover the dominant manufacturer.
MPV purchases, static in the period 1992-1995 at 0.7% or 0.8% of purchases, have risen to 1.5% in the first six months of 1996 following the launch of new models from Peugeot, Honda, Ford, Citroen, Fiat, Volkswagen and SEAT.
With new models imminent from Vauxhall and Mercedes-Benz, PHH managing director David Knight said: 'The figures back up recent comments that the 4x4 has 'had its day' in terms of fleet use. MPVs have taken up from 4x4s as the alternative to traditional fleet vehicles.'
He said as the secondhand market became oversupplied with 4x4s residual values were falling and MPVs had become the 'in' fleet driver's choice, but added: 'How long will it be before the secondhand market for the MPV follows the 4x4 trend?'