New passenger car registrations in March 2019 were only 0.5% down compared to the same month of last year. However, the results of the individual market segments were very different. While registrations of private customers fell significantly (- 8.3%) and the volume of Special Channels (as sum of Manufacturers, Dealerships and Short-Term Rentals) rose by 3.8 percent, True Fleets were in good shape and grew by a very solid + 5.5%.
Audi and Volvo improving, SEAT on the rise
With + 7.6%, market leader Volkswagen grew slightly faster than the fleet market in total. Audi performed even better, achieving its highest market share since August 2018 (which was clearly impacted by WLTP effects) and, thanks to a volume increase of + 26.5%, placed itself ahead of BMW. The A4, A6 and Q3 were primarily responsible for this strong result, with additional support from the new Q8 and e-tron.
As in March 2018, Mercedes, Ford and Skoda occupied the positions four to six. Thanks to an enormous increase of 50.7%, SEAT (7th) succeeded in putting itself for the very first time ahead of both Opel and Renault. Except for the Mii, all SEAT models increased their registrations compared to the same period of last year, remarkable! Volvo improved their status by two ranks with an increase of 43.7% thus completing the top 10 in March.
While missing a top 10 ranking by two positions Hyundai recorded an exceptional + 85.7% mainly generated by the I30 (with the best market share in the Compact Car segment since October 2014), I20 and Kona.
Full EVs with a new record share thanks to Tesla’s performance
With more than 2,000 new registrations for the first time ever and a share of 2.6%, full Electric vehicles achieved a record in the German True Fleet Market for March 2019. At the same time, the growth rate for Hybrids was significantly lower, so that electric vehicles were outmatching them for the first time since May 2014. Established EV models like Renault Zoe, BMW i3, Smart ForTwo Electric and Nissan Leaf all recorded growth rates and newcomers such as Audi e-tron, Hyundai Kona and Jaguar I-Pace generated additional volume. The high-flyer in March, however, was Tesla’s Model 3, which accounted for nearly 700 new registrations and was clearly number 1.
Diesel is still by far the most preferred fuel type for company cars and its share of 57.8% in March was slightly higher than in the previous month and only marginally lower than back in March 2018. Interesting was to see how different the Diesel shares are across the brands, ranging between 0% (Tesla) and 76% (Audi) within manufacturer’s top 20 in March.