Fleet News

Big three pull ahead in car sales stakes

THE top three manufacturers in the UK fleet market are likely to cement their positions this year as registrations look set to topple previous records.

Fleet registrations have already broken through the million units barrier (Fleet News, December 9) and the top three manufacturers are posting increases over last year meaning this year could beat the previous best of 1.09 million.

Vauxhall and Ford have both recorded increases over 2003 so far this year, and Renault has improved by more than 8%, latest figures show. Much of Renault's success can be put down to the growth of diesel Megane sales.

Keith Hawes, director of fleet and LCVs at Renault, said: 'The full launch of all seven Megane family models has been completed in 2004 which has certainly helped us not only maintain our third position within the UK fleet market, but also increase our volume overall compared with 2003. This year both Megane Sport Tourer and Sport Saloon have made a very positive impact on their first full year. Megane Sport Saloon is already in second place within its sector and the Sport Tourer - the first ever estate version of Megane in the UK - is already fourth with 4,000 sales. All of this has meant we have achieved 35% growth in the non-MPV lower- medium fleet sector in 2004.'

Volkswagen is threatening Peugeot's fourth position in the table and its running total is 3,500 behind the French firm, with its total for November more than 2,000 units ahead. BMW has also increased its share of sales to fleets by more than 14% over 2003, with the introduction of new models like the X3, 5-series Touring and 1-series.

Toyota has posted the largest percentage increase of any manufacturer in the top 10 at nearly 20% higher than in 2003.

Meanwhile, heavy vans continue to drive forward the overall commercial vehicle market in the UK, with 2.6-3.5-tonne vehicles posting a 10.7% increase in registrations for November. Medium vans - from 1.8-2.6 tonnes - also saw registrations increase in November, by 22.7%, building on the 17.5% increase in October.

Vans up to 1.8 tonnes grew by 4.2% in November, but are still posting a small fall for the year to date.

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