Despite fleet registrations for the month of April dipping by 0.6%, sales for the year to date are up by 3.9%, compared to the same period last year.
Sales to sub-25 fleets continues to perform well and were up for the 11th successive month, with a 10.6% rise.
Manufacturers' fortunes in the fleet sector were mixed, with half seeing sales to fleets decrease during April.
Manufacturers in the top 10 that increased sales to fleets were Vauxhall (8.16%), Volkswagen (14.19%), Toyota (23.70%) and Audi (0.26%).
Those that suffered drops were Ford (-9.32%), Renault (-12.05%), Peugeot (-19.87%), Nissan (-1.10%) and Citroen (-22.38%). Total sales, including private registrations, dipped 3.8% to 187,004 units but year-to-date sales were up by 3.9% to 943,010 units.
SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: 'Despite a slight dip in April, we are confident of a fourth consecutive record year. March registrations exceeded expectations by nearly 17,000 units, so it is not surprising that this momentum has not continued in April.
However, in the context of the year to date, the market is still significantly up on last year. A strong underlying economy, raft of new model launches and intense competition should see total registrations hit 2.6 million units by the end of the year.'
Diesel registrations took a record 32.5% share of the April market, with the Ford Focus leading the fleet pack.
The Vauxhall Astra was the only model in the diesel top 10 to see falling sales but this was not surprising as the new model has only just been launched.
Macgowan said: 'Diesel demand posted its 43rd successive monthly rise, with volumes 22.2% up over the year-to-date to 289,532 units. Market penetration is expected to rise to 32% in 2004 and 34% in 2005.'
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