Fleet News

Olive branch, but diesel slide goes on unabated

THE inexorable slide in diesel sales continued last month, with not even the 'olive branch' from the Government in the form of a U-turn on its decision to penalise diesels in the new benefit-in-kind company car tax system set for introduction in 2002, succeeding in giving the market a boost. Diesel sales in November reached 22,137 units (November 1998: 22,670) with 14,245, or 64.3% going to fleets (November 1998: 14,094). The fleet slice of the diesel market increased 1.1% on November last year, although diesel sales overall were down 2.4%.

The picture is more gloomy looking at the year-to-date totals. The total market for diesel is down 12% from January to November this year compared to 1998 with fleet's own slice of the market down by 12.1%. Diesels now account for 17.2% of all cars sold to fleets this year with sales totalling 166,071 units - 12.1% down on 1998's 11-month tally of 188,838. The total number of diesel cars sold this year is 289,748 (1998: 329,351).

Peugeot's diesels continue to march ahead on a month-to-month basis, with the 406 topping the November sales chart with 1,542 units - 10.8% of the total monthly diesel sales and a 75.8% increase on November 1998 sales. The Peugeot 306 comes in second place (1,310 units), down 18.6% from November, followed by the Vauxhall Astra and making its debut in the diesel chart, the Ford Focus in fourth place. Completing the 'top ten triple' for Peugeot is the 206 appearing at eighth, thanks to an 83.3% year-on-year sales increase. Another success for Ford is an incredible 238.1% increase in Galaxy diesel sales (524 units) compared to a year ago.

Top 10 fleet diesel car manufacturers in 1999 are: Peugeot 40,339, Ford 30,635, Vauxhall 24,316, Volkswagen 20,364, Renault 9,103, Citroen 8,879, Rover 7,442, Audi 4,905, Nissan 3,359, Mercedes 2,886. Top 10 fleet diesel cars in 1999 are: Peugeot 306 17,551, Peugeot 406 16,661, Vauxhall Astra 11,794, Ford Mondeo 10,583, Ford Focus 8,971, Volkswagen Passat 7,962, Vauxhall Vectra 7,771, Volkswagen Golf 7,179, Renault Laguna 4,798, Ford Escort 4,518.

Top 10 fleet diesel manufacturers in November were: Peugeot 3,394, Ford 2,935, Vauxhall 2,359, Volkswagen 1,556, Renault 755, Citroen 535, Audi 522, Rover 511, Mercedes 307, Toyota 271. Top 10 fleet diesel models in November were: Peugeot 406 1,542, Peugeot 306 1,310, Vauxhall Astra 1,195, Ford Focus 1,115, Ford Mondeo 839, Vauxhall Vectra 745, Volkswagen Passat 639, Volkswagen Golf 536, Ford Galaxy 524, Peugeot 206 341.

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