Fleet News

Fleet sales on course despite pricing furore

THE shadow cast by the new car pricing inquiry and consumer expectancy of reductions in the cost of new cars is hitting the retail market, but having less of an effect on fleet sales, which remain on course to exceed one million. With December sales continuing, fleet sales for the first 11 months of 1999 stand at 968,222, of which 77,116 units were sold in November (November 1998: 79,954).

Total new car sales this year stand at 2,113,033 (1998: 2,151,056) with November sales totalling 143,323 (November 1998: 152,314) (Fleet News December 10). Fleet sales this year are 3.6% down from last year's 11-month tally of 1,004,090. November fleet sales were 3.5% down year-on-year, but the private sector has been hit harder by pricing speculation with sales falling 13.7% year-on-year last month. However, a buoyant start to the early part of 1999 means overall private new car sales are down 2.5% year-on-year.

The one bright spot in the figures are 'business sales' - to sub-25 fleets - which increased 25.4% year-on-year last month and in the first 11 months of this year are 14.7% up on the same period in 1998 at 179,974 units. Ford continues to lead its rivals with sales last month of 16,984 units, ahead of Vauxhall in second with 14,694. The Ford Focus was the best-selling fleet car, while the Vauxhall Astra took second place above the Ford Mondeo. Only four of the top ten fleet manufacturers saw year-on-year sales increases last month - Vauxhall, Peugeot, Volkswagen and Honda - with the most impressive performer being the French manufacturer which saw sales increase 27.7% to 7,825 on November last year's figure.

Top 10 best-selling fleet manufacturers in November were: Ford 16,984, Vauxhall 14,694, Peugeot 7,825, Renault 6,764, Volkswagen 5,122, Rover 4,062, Nissan 2,463, Toyota 2,335, Fiat 2,204, Honda 2,157. Top 10 best-selling fleet models in November were: Ford Focus 5,798, Vauxhall Astra 4,724, Ford Mondeo 4,195, Vauxhall Vectra 3,823, Vauxhall Corsa 3,732, Ford Fiesta 3,139, Peugeot 306 2,941, Peugeot 406 2,845, Renault Megane 2,694, Renault Clio 2,192.

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