Fleet News

Car sales set to hit six-year low

THIS year’s new car market is on course to be the lowest for six years after another monthly fall in registrations in November.

Total sales last month were 155,315 – down 2% and tracking to hit 2.345 million units, down nearly 4% on 2005.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders predicts that December’s figures will also be low, possibly 13% down.

This is because December 2005 saw fleets rushing to register cars before the Euro IV tax deadline which created a large spike in the market.

For the year to date, fleet sales are down 1%, while business sales to fleets of 25 vehicles or fewer were down by nearly 13%. Together, fleet and business sales have made up 55.6% of new car sales so far this year.

Ford continues to dominate the fleet market, with sales up 1.9% year-to-date, again fuelled by strong demand for the Fiesta.

Vauxhall remains in second place, although its sales have fallen by 9%, due mainly to the old Corsa being in run-out and sales of the new model only just beginning.

Volkswagen is the only other manufacturer to break through the 100,000-unit barrier in fleet, up by 18% thanks to a 31% increase in Passat sales.

Elsewhere in the top 10 manufacturers’ table, Renault’s poor year continues with sales down by more than 20%, due to low sales of Megane, Laguna and Espace. Clio remains a bright spot for the brand, with sales up by nearly 18%.

Toyota is down by 6.5% and will be banking on the Corolla replacement, next year’s Auris, to reverse its predecessor’s 33% dip in sales.

Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz continue to make in-roads into the volume heartland, with sales up by 24.9%, 9.1% and 10.4% respectively.

  • SALES of light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes were up 8.5% in November at 27,507 units. For the year-to-date, sales stand at 303,605 – 1.7% up on the same point in 2005.

    Top 10 sales in fleet November 2006

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