Fleet News

Diesel sales boost May registrations

Diesel registrations continued their upward spiral this year, with May’s new car sales figures reaching their highest ever market share.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that around 74,000 diesel cars were sold in May – representing nearly 40% of the new car market.

In fleet, all the top 10 best-selling diesel models, with the exception of the Renault Megane, saw sales grow.

Audi’s A4 continued its stellar rise with growth of 42.6% for the year to date, followed by BMW which saw 3 Series registrations rise by 22.6%.

Of the volume manufacturers, Ford, Volkswagen and Vauxhall all saw steady growth with their models, but the biggest gain was made by Citroën. Thanks to the launch of the five and seven-seat C4 Picasso MPVs, the C4 family saw diesel registrations rocket to 3,757 units – up from 1,400 sales for the year to date in 2006.

The rise in diesel sales helped offset a pretty poor month for new car registrations – this was the lowest level of sales in May since 1999 and curtailed a run of two months of growth.

May’s volume of 185,797 sales was 2.2% down on last year, although year-to-date sales at 1,044,436 are 2.2% ahead of the same period in 2006. Fleet accounted for 506,379 of these sales, and business sales to fleets with 25 vehicle or fewer accounted for 67,786 sales.

In the fleet top 10, Ford’s Focus remains at number one with Vauxhall’s Astra in second. Volkswagen enjoyed the largest growth with Golf sales rising by 15.9% YTD thanks to the launch of the TSI Twincharger models.

Top 10 fleet models

YTD 2007 YTD 2006 % change
Ford Focus 44,787 45,791 -2.2
Vauxhall Astra 36,365 34,314 5.9
Ford Fiesta 19,932 19,249 3.5
Ford Mondeo 19,630 18,507 6.1
Renault Megane 16,895 17,675 -5.4
VW Golf 16,533 14,261 15.9
Vauxhall Corsa 16,269 18,507 -12.1
Vauxhall Vectra 15,250 15,306 -0.4
Vauxhall Zafira 14,959 15,126 -1.2
VW Passat 12,173 11,365 7.1

Top 10s

HERE are the fleet-relevant tables for new car sales for the year-to-date (May) from the SMMT.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee