Fleet News

March sales second-best ever

FLEET and business car sales spearheaded the second-highest March for new car registrations since the advent of the twice-yearly ’plate change.

The overall figure of nearly 450,000 sales for the month exceeded even the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ expectations for the 07 plate of 425,000, beaten only by March 2004’s total of 467,000.

The biggest increases were in business sales to sub-25 fleets, which leapt 10.6% to 33,644 compared to March 2006, reflecting the increased focus of many manufacturers on the sector.

In what many industry pundits say is a bid to take power from independent brokers, many carmakers are setting up local business specialists in their dealer networks, suggesting the business market share should increase further still in the next year. In larger fleets, sales were 189,884, up 3.8% relative to March last year, while private gains were smaller – up 1.5% to 225,759.

Diesel sales in fleet are continuing to power ahead, with sales up nearly 11% so far in 2007 to 150,976 out of a total of 326,830 units.

Overall share of the market so far is 54.4% for fleet and business, 45.6% for private. Ford still tops the fleet sales charts at 62,340 so far in 2007, with Audi showing huge gains – up 36% to 18,212 compared to the first three months of 2006.

After a poor year last year, with disappointing sales of Accord, limited availability of the sought-after Civic and the old CR-V on run-out, Honda has started to bounce back.

Fleet sales are up 22% to 9,586. In its core fleet offering, Civic is up 61% year-on-year to 4,070, Accord is looking healthier, up 46%, while new CR-V is starting to make its mark.

Volkswagen also continues its inexorable rise up the fleet sales charts, with registrations increasing by 15% to more than 28,000 and, apart from struggling Golf Plus and a slight 4% drop for Touran, healthy rises across the entire range.

Top 10 fleet models

Model YTD 2007 YTD 2006 % change
Ford Focus 28,832 29,290 -1.6
Vauxhall Astra 23,574 20,855 13.0
Ford Mondeo 13,430 11,434 17.5
Ford Fiesta 12,765 11,662 9.5
Renault Megane 10,404 11,740 -11.4
Volkswagen Golf 10,269 8,347 23.0
Vauxhall Corsa 10,119 12,006 -15.7
Vauxhall Zafira 8,675 8,576 1.2
Vauxhall Vectra 8,373 8,636 -3.0
BMW 3 Series 7,156 5,879 21.7

Fleet relevant models

Top 10 petrol models

Model................ YTD 07 (% change)
1 Ford Focus 18,125 (-8.1)
2 Vauxhall Astra 16,625 (14.4)
3 Ford Fiesta 10,609 (9.7)
4 Vauxhall Corsa 8,476 (-22.7)
5 Renault Megane 6,661 (-12.9)
6 Vauxhall Zafira.. 6,492 (0.2)
7 Peugeot 307 4,817 (6.9)
8 Peugeot 207 ... 4,677 (n/a)
9 Renault Clio 4,578 (14.1)
10 Fiat Gr Punto 4,147 (144.1)

Top 10 diesel models

Model.................YTD 07 (% change)
1 Ford Focus 10,678 (11.7)
2 Ford Mondeo 9,734 (23.0)
3 VW Passat 7,101 (15.7)
4 Vauxhall Astra 6,948 (10.1)
5 VW Golf 6,519 (20.3)
6 Audi A4 5,829 (44.4)
7 Vauxhall Vectra 5,029 (2.5)
8 BMW 3 Series 4,892 (30.3)
9 Audi A3 4,515 (34.2)
10 Renault Megane 3,743 (-8.5)

Top 10 manufacturers

Make................ YTD 07 (% change)
1 Ford 62,340 (7.6)
2 Vauxhall 53,957 (0.0)
3 Volkswagen 28,013 (15.3)
4 Peugeot 20,502 (-7.9)
5 Audi 18,212 (35.8)
6 Renault 17,961 (-8.2)
7 Toyota 14,669 (16.0)
8 BMW 13,409 (0.7)
9 Citroën 10,755 (3.7)
10 Mercedes-Benz 8,915 (17.9)

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