Fleet News

Big three losing out to smaller marques

THE big three manufacturers - Ford, Vauxhall and Rover - are all losing ground to smaller players as fleets opt for a wider range of vehicles. Research by industry analyst MarketLine shows that Ford, Vauxhall and Rover all experienced much lower rates of growth than the smaller players during 1997, with Rover faring the worst with a decline in fleet volumes of 3.8% during the year.

This trend reflects not only wider demand for various vehicle types and sizes, but also the success of companies such as Volkswagen, Renault, Peugeot and Fiat to gain sales in the lower and upper medium sectors. According to MarketLine, the company car purchases share of the new car registrations has increased across all sectors since 1994, with the exception of vehicles such as MPVs. Overall dual and multi purpose vehicles achieved the strongest rates of growth, with executive and small cars also performing well.

MarketLine believes strong growth in retail sales for such vehicles has been fuelled by employees taking cash for car schemes in order to purchase cars, like MPVs, which are not traditionally offered as company cars.

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