Last month 166,797 new cars were sold in the UK – 10% above the forecast for the month, leading the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders to revise upwards its full year forecast to 2.396 million units (an increase of 21,000).
It was expected that October would record a slowdown due to the general economic outlook, but strong demand from the retail sector boosted the month.
Leading the way in sales terms was Vauxhall, with sales up by 21% compared to October 2006.
In the fleet sector, the rise in sales was 19.1% (see table below) thanks to strong performances from the Astra range (up 14.6%), the Zafira mini-MPV which recorded a 13.3% rise in sales, the Corsa which is more than 40% up and the Vectra which still continues to sell strongly despite its advancing years and impending replacement.
Ford, meanwhile, saw its fleet sales fall by 9%, with the Focus range taking a 28.6% hit. Mondeo was down by 7.9% due to the ramping up of production of the all-new model, and Fiesta sales fell by more than a quarter.
To the end of October, Ford remains the fleet best-seller with 180,592 sales this year compared to Vauxhall’s 177,139.
Volkswagen, Renault and Peugeot retained third, fourth and fifth places respectively, although Renault’s fall in sales is much less pronounced than earlier in the year, suggesting an evening-out of business after the decision to cut 5,000 short-cycle sales.
BMW sales rocketed again thanks to the introduction of new models and its EfficientDynamics fuel-saving technology.
Honda also saw strong growth in the fleet market, with sales up 41.3% in October thanks to the Civic and Accord ranges, plus continuing demand for the CR-V.
Top 10 fleet manufacturers
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Top 10 fleet models
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