True Fleets in Germany were up by 6.4% in August and though that gain perhaps appears somewhat constrained when compared alongside France, Spain and Italy where fleet markets all recorded comfortable double-digit growth rates, there was still an interesting footnote. While many Southern Europeans had their summer vacation and the British were waiting for the new number plate release, Germany’s fleet registrations made up for 42% of the Big-5 in August and helped to push up the aggregate by 5.9%. Regarding the other channels, the ongoing diesel debate could not shy away buoyant private customers from a + 6.0% allowing Special Channels to take advantage of the situation and cut their low-margin registrations by a tiny 0.9%.
Pressure on diesel sales affects brand performance
While the public considered a rather disappointing outcome to the diesel summit between federal, select state government and the German OEMs, all of the Top 10 OEMs recorded steep growth in their petrol sales to fleets. The most prominent were Audi and Renault with their registrations surging by more than 76%.
On the downside, 5/10 OEMs recorded deteriorating diesel registrations, despite the overall growth in the fleet market. This may have helped Mercedes (+18.8% in fleet, #2) as well as Skoda (+44.4%, #5) to gain a position in the overall True Fleet ranking as both marques managed to increase their diesel registrations. The 3rd OEM to climb in the overall ranking was Toyota (+63.1%, #10) who benefited from their strong position in alternative fuels.
Toyota’s pole position in alternative fuels to be challenged
Nevertheless, Toyota’s leadership in alternatives may soon be challenged by its German competitors. The Golf GTE pushed up True Fleet registrations on alternatives for VW with the largest contribution to the brands + 237%which secured 2nd position for the company from Lower Saxony. In the meantime its technical sibling, the Audi A3 e‑tron, contributed to its brands + 970% though its Bavarian rival BMW was hot on its heels, as hybrid versions of the 5 Series and 2 Series Active Tourer continue to gain popularity. Other brands managed impressive percentage gains too and with future hybrid offers in the more affordable Compact Car segment they should also be well prepared to climb the ranks in True Fleets alternative fuels segment.