The dominance of the two biggest manufacturers in the corporate sector may be dwindling after Inchcape Fleet Solutions reported Volkswagen is now the most popular marque fleets are ordering.
While Vauxhall and Ford still hold collectively about 30% of the overall fleet market, the increased desirability of VW, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz has seen their share come under attack from German brands.
According to the latest fleet registration figures, the four main German brands take about 26% of the market, a share that has been steadily rising.
But some leasing companies are reporting a much higher proportion of orders.
Lee Hamlett, head of residual values at Inchcape, said Audi and BMW are also performing strongly alongside Volkswagen.
“And the trend is on the incline,” he added. “Fifty per cent of our order book is now German cars.”
Rising popularity of the German brands can be partly put down to a lead on low emissions according to David Brennan, managing director at LeasePlan, who suggested early availability of low CO2 models was the initial draw to come German brands.
He said: “The key trend we have seen in terms of customer order preferences has been a move towards lower emission vehicles, and indeed some of the German brands are very strong in this area.”
Hamlett added: “Wholelife costs are further reduced by more beneficial write down allowances applied to lower CO2 emitting cars.
“The wholelife costs argument is a compelling one to any business, especially during times when costs are under constant scrutiny,” he said.
“There is now an increasing focus on the environment and many vehicle policies now put an upper limit on CO2 and manage this as part of their corporate and social responsibility and environmental policies.”