Fleet News

Diesel set for revival in 2000?

YEAR 2000 could prove the resurrection of fleet diesel sales, reversing their long term decline. The advent of a carbon dioxide-based Vehicle Excise Duty system, and the anticipated Budget unveiling of the CO2-driven benefit-in-kind tax regime, could provide the ideal fillip for diesel after a disappointing 1999 saw its fleet sales end 11.4% down on 1998's figure, itself 3% down on 1997.

Diesel produces substantially less CO2 per kilometre than petrol equivalents, and looks set to benefit from the new VED and BIK regimes. John Taylor, Peugeot's fleet and leasing director, said: 'All the indications we have are that the Government is softening its anti-diesel approach. The Government and public will realise that modern diesel is environmentally advantageous, and that will put diesel back in the headlines.'

Overall, the fleet sector accounted for 57.6% of all new diesel car purchases in 1999, some 175,100 units (1998: 197,579). Peugeot once again proved to be the most popular diesel car maker, accounting for a quarter of the market, although its sales slipped 11.1% to 42,625 units. The marque's dominance of the diesel market is such that the Peugeot 306 diesel could turn in figures 23.5% below 1998 levels and still occupy top spot in the fleet diesel market.

Top 10 best-selling fleet diesel manufacturers in 1999 were: Peugeot 42,625, Ford 32,472, Vauxhall 25,407,Volkswagen 21,323, Citroen 9,321, Renault 9,301, Rover 7,746, Audi 5,296, Nissan 3,789, Mercedes 3,020. Top 10 best-selling fleet diesel models in 1999 were: Peugeot 306 18,670, Peugeot 406 17,577, Vauxhall Astra 12,245, Ford Mondeo 11,038, Ford Focus 9,733, VW Passat 8,415, Vauxhall Vectra 8,173, VW Golf 7,419, Renault Laguna 4,877, Ford Escort 4,751.

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