Fleet News

Focus takes top slot as Lex sees downsizing trend

THE Ford Focus, last year's best-selling fleet model, was the most popular car on the 120,000-strong Lex Vehicle Leasing fleet in 2003.

It took the top slot from the Ford Mondeo, which moved to second place on the Lex list, while the Volkswagen Golf moved down to third place.

The study also found that diesel remained popular with Lex drivers, accounting for 50% of all orders.

Out of the 35,000 vehicastrales Lex purchased for its customers during last year, Ford and Vauxhall retained their dominance, taking five out of the top 10 positions.

The company said that when comparing the list with 2001, there were gradual signs of company motorists downsizing their cars in a bid to reduce their benefit-in-kind tax bills.

It added: 'Proof of this theory is that the VW Passat has gone from fifth most popular car in 2001 to ninth in 2003 while the BMW 3-series has also gone from second place in 2001 to fifth place.'

'With more drivers choosing their company car with their wallet rather than their heart following the introduction of the CO2 emission-based tax system in April, we are buying more smaller cars for our customers,' said Steve Jones, Lex Vehicle Leasing pricing manager.

He added: 'The Focus and Astra have both benefited from this trend, but the biggest change is the number of diesel cars we are now buying. Diesel penetration of the fleet has grown by 25% over the past three years, but we believe it will stabilise over the next two years.'

Lex Fleet 2003 Top 10
Model 2003 2002 2001
Ford Focus: 1st 4th 3rd
Ford Mondeo: 2nd 1st 4th
VW Golf: 3rd 2nd 1st
Vauxhall Astra: 4th 5th 7th
BMW 3-series: 5th 3rd 2nd
Vauxhall Vectra: 6th 7th 6th
Renault Laguna: 7th 10th (-)
Vauxhall Corsa: 8th 9th (-)
VW Passat: 9th 8th 5th
Peugeot 307: 10th (-) (-)

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