The True Fleet market was once again in a sombre mood achieving the unwanted milestone of 5th consecutive month of contracting figures, down by 10.0% for August or 2.9% YTD (year-to-date). The Total Market while achieving 76,000 registrations was also down by 6.4%. Special Channels accumulated the unwanted growth of 20.9% as OEMs and Dealerships increased their (tactical) registrations by 38.8% to the highest volume on record for August. With a new registration plate imminent for the UK market the hope is perhaps this can help make up for some of this year’s shortfall.
OEMs: VW and Toyota resist the downturn
On the True Fleet OEM level not everyone was in depression, two manufacturers inside the top 10 bucked the trend and achieved 20% plus growth rates and only 63 registrations separated 9th to 12th. The usual suspects sat at 1st and 2nd with Ford taking their 5th turn in pole for 2017 while Vauxhall took the silver.
VW as one of the positive OEMs pushed up 2 places with + 27.0% into 3rd position with Mercedes in 5th swapping places with them. Audi meanwhile retained their 4th position for coincidently the 4th year in a row. BMW and Nissan held fast on 6th and 7th respectively and were followed by Kia in 8th who managed a little magic to jump 2 places in the ranking while having a negative growth month. Citroën filled the 9th position and Toyota in 10th was the second positive growth OEM and highest achiever with + 29.7% with the C-HR spearheading the brands line up for a 2nd month in a row.
Starting positions for September number plate change
With the new plate change around the corner for the UK market we took a look into last year’s top fleet achievers in September and just how there are tracking at present. The Vauxhall Corsa was last September’s most registered vehicle and has been the #1 performer at plate change time (March and September) since September 2015, it is however down by 25.9% YTD though it always seems to find a boost around the plate change months.
Last year’s #2 was the ubiquitous VW Golf, this last held the #1 position in March 2015 but seems to have fewer big fluctuations in its monthly numbers. Currently also down a little in the growth stakes (‑ 4.6%) it is currently the number #1 fleet car in 2017 and held 2016’s title of most registered True Fleet vehicle also.
The Nissan Qashqai was last year’s #3 and perhaps could achieve the status of first SUV to take the #1 spot at plate change time, especially given its recent facelift. It is certainly the most popular SUV in the UK Fleet market and though currently also in negative territory for the year (- 6.9%) its nearest competitor is still a significant amount of registrations away. Does it have the required allure to grab the top spot? We can only wait and see.