Finishing at slightly more than 214,000 passenger car registrations, May was a marginally negative month for the Italian car market. Total Market was down by 1.9% compared to May 2017 with the Private Market being the only segment to achieve positive growth figures (+ 2.0%). The True Fleet Market had to take its first drop for the year (- 4.0%) – nonetheless it has to be noted, that May 2018 was still the second-best May ever for the Italian True Fleets. Meanwhile Special Channels declined by 9.4%.
Regarding the True Fleet ranking, the first four brands all retained their positions from prior year’s month with Fiat, Volkswagen, Ford and Audi in the lead. The first positive growth number in May’s fleet ranking was achieved by BMW in 5th. Supported by the X1, the brand-new X2 and both 2 Series models (Active Tourer and Gran Tourer) the manufacturer from Munich rose by 24.9% and climbed up two positions in the ranking ladder.
Mercedes in 7th was surrounded by two new top 10 entries, both emanating from the home market FCA group. Not only did Jeep (6th) surge remarkably by 122.4%, driven by the Compass, it continues to expand its record fleet market share. Alfa Romeo (8th) was also quite successful, closely missing out on doubling its registrations (+ 99.7%) with a little help from the Giulietta and the Stelvio taking rather equal shares of that growth pie. Seemingly, the last few months have confirmed the modified brand positioning of the FCA members with Jeep and Alfa Romeo aiming to fleet and premium customers respectively.
Last but not least, a quick look at the end of the top 10: Renault took 9th while its compatriot Peugeot rounded out the ranking growing by 34.2% over May 2017 with the usual suspects of 3008 and 5008 participating in the upward trajectory of the French lion.
Fuel Types and EU-5 comparisons
Over YTD (year-to-date) May, Italy’s Diesel fleet registrations have held up rather well compared to the other big EU-5 markets. While France, Germany, Spain and UK all had to cope with a decline of the Diesel to a greater or lesser extent, Diesel is still in the black (+ 9.1%) within the Italian True Fleet Market after the first five months of 2018. It is also interesting to see that for Petrol the development was quite the opposite, with Petrol surging strongly in all other EU-5 countries. In the Italian True Fleet Market, Petrol registrations decreased by 7.0% over YTD May and also specifically in May (- 29.2%). This made alternative fuel types the only ones to increase homogeneously in all EU-5 markets.
For the Italian True Fleet it has to be taken into consideration, that currently May’s Diesel registrations followed the overall downward trend of the True Fleet Market by falling slightly below the level of prior year’s month (- 3.7%). The upcoming months will reveal if this is a long-term trend or a one-off slip in registrations for this fuel type.