The British True Fleet Market remained in a slump during October, representing the seventh consecutive month, which fell short of respective prior year’s level. The fleet segment was down by 7.2%, which led to a cumulative downslide of 4.5% after ten months. The Private Market softened by 10.1% while even the Special Channels could not compensate for the performance of the private and the fleet segments and declined by 27.0%. Overall, the Total Market decreased by 12.2% in October, leaving it at 158,000 passenger car registrations.
Looking into the Top 10 ranking of fleet OEMs only three brands managed to achieve growth numbers over October keeping them in the black. Ford for the sixth time this year took the first spot on the podium while Volkswagen (2nd) and Opel (3rd) swapped their ranking from October 2016. The marque from Wolfsburg increased by 6.6% and outpaced Opel in their neck-and-neck race by just 21 cars. Mercedes, Audi, Nissan and BMW followed on the next four ranks, with Nissan and BMW also swapping positons from last year’s corresponding month. Hyundai at position 8 increased by 35.6% with almost every model participating in its growth. Nonetheless, the Tucson, Ioniq and the small i20 were the brand’s most outstanding models for October. Hyundai’s group affiliate Kia finished in 9th while Toyota jumped 3 positions into 10th driven by the highest growth rate (+ 39.8%) we observed inside fleet’s Top 10 and even for the Top 20 this month. It was predominantly the Aygo, Yaris and the C-HR – that launched almost one year ago – contributing to Toyota’s growth for October.
Outside the Top 10, both SEAT and Suzuki confirmed their sound September performances. SEAT was up by 36.0% while the Japanese brand continued its triumphant march by doubling its registrations once again (+ 105.8%). While traditionally focussed on the Private Market with some 90% of their sales going to private individuals, Suzuki’s True Fleet registrations have grown significantly and now make up roughly a quarter of their volume for the UK.
Alternative fuel types on their way forward
Alternative fuel types are on a constant upswing. Currently, their year-to-date fleet market share is at 5.8% representing an increase of 1.3 percentage points when compared to overall 2016. For October, the alternative segment increased by notable 40.2% year-on-year pushing its 2017’s cumulative growth towards 25.4%. October’s results originated from a wide range of different brands and models, but nonetheless, we found some models, which deserve highlighting. As already mentioned, the Toyota C-HR and the Hyundai Ioniq achieved solid registration numbers in October, but also hybrid versions of the VW Golf and Passat alongside the Kia Niro, with all these models achieving triple-digit growth rates, in addition to the well performing BMW 5 Series influenced this month’s alternative fuel outcome.