Fleet News

Fiat Punto surprise leader in July fleet sales league

NEW fleet registrations rose in the phony sales month of July, compared to July 1997, but failed to reach the record heights of the previous year. In the run-up to the final August plate change madness, fleet sales were 3.2% up on July 1997 at 21,673 (21,001), in a 1998 fleet market 6.6% higher than last year - 579,032 (1997: 543,323).

July continued its trend of producing a surprise market leader, with last year's Rover 400 usurped in 1998 by the Fiat Punto as the best-selling fleet car.

The modest total of 1,433 Puntos was registered in July, a rise of 105.9% on the same month in 1997.

Official figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed fleet and retail sales combined to reach a total of 37,896 registrations last month, 5.1% up on 1997's figure of 36,069, but not enough to prevent the SMMT talking of a slowdown in the market. Ernie Thompson, SMMT chief executive, said: 'The July figures show the rate of market growth continued to slow with only a 5% increase in July, compared with a 7.8% increase during the first half of the year.'

Top 10 best-selling fleet manufacturers in July were: Ford 3,786, Fiat 3,115, Vauxhall 2,565, Peugeot 1,683, Rover 1,591, Volkswagen 1,306, Nissan 1,253, Renault 1,045, Daewoo 752, Toyota 681. Top 10 best-selling fleet cars in July were: Fiat Punto 1,443, Ford Mondeo 1,263, Ford Escort 1,260, Fiat Bravo/Brava 976, Vauxhall Vectra 913, Peugeot 306 847, Vauxhall Astra 776, Rover 400 775, Ford Fiesta 766, Renault Megane 644.

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