Fleet News

Sales down again as car market struggles

THE UK’s new car market is continuing to struggle, with latest figures showing another monthly decline in registrations.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), June’s new car sales were 219,497 units – 3.6% down on the same time last year.

For the year-to-date (YTD), sales are down 4.2%, with private sales down 4.6%, fleet remaining flat and business sales to firms with 25 vehicles or fewer falling by 11.5%.

This means the market remains on course to meet the SMMT’s forecast of a yearly total of 2.35 million units – down 3.7% on 2005.

Within the fleet sector, Ford remains the best-seller, with 110,508 registrations so far this year, down 1.2% YTD and narrowly ahead of Vauxhall on 108,810 sales (down 9.4%).

The Ford Focus remains the best-selling car in fleet with 53,876 registrations YTD while its Fiesta sibling is in third on 23,165 and the Mondeo is fourth on 22,878.

Vauxhall has four cars in the top 10 – the Astra is second on 39,878, the Corsa fifth on 22,372, the Vectra seventh on 19,108 and the Zafira eighth on 18,903 sales.

A new entry into the top 10 is the BMW 3-series which claims tenth spot with 11,956 sales, driven by a 24.4% rise in diesel registrations YTD.

Chris Brownridge, BMW’s sales manager – corporate, said: ‘This growth is primarily down to 318d and 320d, which is not a surprise to us as this is the first full year of production and it takes time for a model to bed in on company car lists.

‘The 318d is getting us into slightly lower vehicle bandings than before, as is the new 520d which is getting us into places we have never been before with the 5-series.’

Outside of the top 10, sales of luxury saloons, off-roaders and sports cars are rocketing in fleet while traditional company car sectors are struggling.

Sales of expensive cars such as the BMW X5, Audi A8 and BMW 7-series are flourishing – up 60%, 61% and 56.5% respectively.

Brownridge added: ‘With the long wheelbase 7-series we are seeing more sales into chauffeur fleets, while the X5 is benefitting from evergreen appeal and less production restraints this year.’

  • SALES of vans up to 3.5 tonnes fell slightly in June, down 0.2% at 29,944 units. For the year-to-date, the figure stands at 168,057 – down by 0.1%.

    Top 10 fleet models

    YTD 2006 YTD 2005 % change
    Ford Focus 53,876 53,199 1.3
    Vauxhall Astra 39,878 45,384 -12.2
    Ford Fiesta 23,165 16,829 37.6
    Ford Mondeo 22,878 25,505 -10.3
    Vauxhall Corsa 22,372 29,033 -22.9
    Renault Megane 21,475 32,293 -33.5
    Vauxhall Vectra 19,108 21,078 -9.4
    Vauxhall Zafira 18,903 16,166 16.9
    Volkswagen Golf 18,275 19,414 -5.9
    BMW 3-series 11,956 9,391 27.3

    Top 10s

    HERE are the fleet-relevant performance tables for new car registrations in June 2006 from the SMMT.

    Top 10 petrol models

    Model……… YTD 06 - (% change)
    1 Ford Focus 34,808 (-12.8)
    2 Vauxhall Astra 28,163 (-1.2)
    3 Vauxhall Corsa 20,210 (-20.7)
    4 Ford Fiesta 19,105 (39.5) 5 Vauxhall Zafira 14,594 (45.6) 6 Renault Megane ..13,982 (-27.4) 7 Vauxhall Vectra 9,375 (-4.0) 8 Renault Clio 9,271 (-13.8) 9 Peugeot 307 8,931 (89.7) 10 Fiat G/Punto 5,747 (-)

    Top 10 diesel models

    Model................ YTD 06 (% change)
    1 Ford Focus 19,052 (43.4)
    2 Ford Mondeo 16,206 (-9.3)
    3 VW Passat 13,326 (38.0)
    4 Vauxhall Astra 11,699 (-30.6)
    5 VW Golf 11,117 (-20.4)
    6 Vauxhall Vectra .9,730 (-13.3)
    7 Peugeot 407 8,907 (19.2)
    8 BMW 3-series 7,539 (24.4)
    9 Peugeot 307 7,415 (11.8)
    10 Audi A4 7,208 (9.9)

    Top 10 manufacturers

    Model................ YTD 06 (% change)
    1 Ford 110,508 (-1.2)
    2 Vauxhall 108,810 (-9.4)
    3 Volkswagen 52,255 (13.1)
    4 Peugeot 40,126 (24.6)
    5 Renault 36,994 (-31.2)
    6 BMW 27,581 (18.1)
    7 Toyota 24,640 (-13.2)
    8 Audi 23,314 (28.4)
    9 Citroën 19,275 (9.7)
    10 Nissan 15,080 (-38.0)

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