Fleet News

February new car sales plunge but T-plate surge anticipated

NEW car sales - both fleet and retail - plunged as expected last month, but manufacturers and dealers remain optimistic that last week's launch of the T-plate will see sales surge. Consequently it is expected that new car sales figures for the first three months of this year will be little different to last year's first quarter tally of 622,562 units of which 291,404 were fleet.

Industry pundits expect this year's March sales to total anything between 300,000 and 380,000 units compared with 213,374 units in March last year of which 102,777 were fleet. So with fleet sales this month expected to account for close to 50% of the total March market it could be that first quarter fleet sales will be close to last year's equivalent total as fleet sales in the first two 'slump' months of this year stand at 134,475 units (1998: 189,025), while total market new car sales figures stand at 265,882 (1998: 409,188).

Top 10 best-selling fleet manufacturers in February were: Ford 9,356, Vauxhall 7,905, Volkswagen 4,553, Peugeot 4,542, Renault 4,261, Fiat 2,653, Rover 2,260, Nissan 1,585, Citroen 1,109, Toyota 1,035.

Top 10 best-selling fleet models in February were: Ford Mondeo 3,306, Vauxhall Vectra 3,001, Vauxhall Astra 2,620, Volkswagen Golf 2,425, Ford Fiesta 2,296, Ford Focus 1,930, Renault Clio 1,886, Peugeot 306 1,880, Renault Megane 1,638, Fiat Punto 1,512.

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