Fleet News

Diesel down by 3%

THE 1998 fleet diesel market ended 3% down on 1997 at 197,579 registrations (203,627), but there are signs of a resurgence. Product availability for the new Vauxhall Astra diesel saw its sales fall 26.9% compared to its predecessor in 1997, and Vectra diesel sales were 16.1% down.

Greater availability of the new and acclaimed 2.0 Di engine should boost sales of both this year. Volkswagen too showed what product availability could do for sales, with sales of the Passat TDi up 86.5% to 8,188, accounting for just under half of all Passat sales in 1998, and the new Golf registering as the seventh best-selling fleet diesel car in December, a 208.4% improvement on the previous year.

While older diesel technology in the Ford Mondeo, Rover 400 and Citroen Xantia saw their sales fall by 24.3%, 7.5% and 31.3% respectively, the arrival of common rail diesel engines is expected to give the whole diesel market a boost. Peugeot retained its position as leading fleet diesel manufacturer with sales up 0.7% to 47,941, representing almost half its fleet registrations. The company's fleet and leasing director John Taylor is bullish about the future for the next generation of common rail engines which have made their debut in the 406.

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