Following a significant increase in April, the German True Fleet Market suffered a 12.0 percent decline in May 2018 compared to the same month last year. The main reason was probably the lack of two working days compared to May 2017. However a double-digit drop is certainly a reason to take a closer look. The lack of working days does not fully explain the negative result; you should also take into account that May 2017 was an outstanding month for the fleet market. With well over 78,000 registrations it was by far the strongest May ever.
The volume of registrations on dealerships, car manufacturers and Rent-a-Cars in May dropped as well while the Private Market was in good shape with + 1.4% which helped to narrow the Total Market decline down to – 5.8%.
Brand and model performance
Škoda and Renault were the only 2 out of the top 10 True Fleet brands which managed to increase their registrations over last year’s May. Volkswagen and Audi stayed in the lead followed by BMW and Mercedes which alongside Škoda (5th) and Ford (6th) swapped their positions. Opel on rank number seven missed its volume from last year’s May by only 2 (!) registrations. Renault (+ 8.0%), SEAT and Toyota complete the top 10.
Twelve months ago, the Volkswagen Passat was the most popular company car in Germany. Since then the Golf secured the top spot twelve times in a row, ahead of the Passat. Audi’s A4 and Škoda’s Octavia kept their positions followed by two models which made impressive gains. The Volkswagen Tiguan jumped from rank number eleven into fifth position while the 5 Series from BMW on rank number six even gained seven positions. However the award for the biggest leap for the month certainly goes to the Volkswagen Transporter which climbed from rank number twenty to eighth!
Vehicle segments performance
Despite the drop for True Fleets there were a few vehicle segments which managed to resist the negative result. Beside two segments – Sports Cars and Luxury – which don’t really carry a substantial volume (representing less than 3% of the fleet market altogether) it was the usual suspect SUV which was able to grow by + 1.3%. Although the SUVs have become the most important segment (one out of four new company cars in May were allocated to this group) it is interesting to see that they do not necessarily dominate their respective brands.
While analysing the strongest sellers within the top 10 brands you won’t find a single SUV. Instead there are Compact Cars like Golf, Focus, Megane or cars from the Middle Class (A4, Octavia) and Higher Middle Class (5 Series, E Class) respectively. But of course you have to take into account that the available SUV model range is outstandingly large. While we saw 10 different Middle Class Cars with > 100 registrations in May (True Fleets only) we had no less than 43 different SUVs!
Need for speed?
Obviously there is a significant amount of fleets in Germany which have to deliver really urgent goods. In May we could see the first three registrations for a (new) company car which is able to run above 320 km/h on the German Autobahn: it’s the Ferrari Portofino. Including this beautiful car from Maranello we had 270 True Fleet registrations of cars equipped with an engine of more than 600 horse power. Only in May!
3 – 2 – 1 – GO!