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Germany: True Fleets recovering slightly and Diesel still has a heartbeat

Frankfurt, 18.12.18

Less than 273,000 new passenger car registrations or a drop of 9.9%; November was certainly a tough month for Germany. The hardest hit, channel wise, were the Private buyers with ‑ 16.1%, but you must keep in mind that November 2017 was extraordinarily strong. Registrations of Dealerships, Manufacturers and Short -Term Rentals were down by 4.3%. However, if you look at the year-to-date figures for the first eleven months of 2018 the registrations on these so-called Special Channels are almost spot on with a fractional increase of only 0.03%. Calling this a stable result would be an understatement. No reason to get ecstatic but with – 9.1% True Fleets are at least in better shape than in September and October and due to the relatively weak performance of the Private Market the share of company cars climbed to 26.3% which is the highest for the current year, up to now.


Brand performance

In the top ten ranking there was an equal share of wins and losses. Five brands were able to increase their volume and five were lagging behind. Market leader Volkswagen returned to growth (+ 1.3%) followed by BMW and Mercedes. Thanks to a solid + 5.1% Škoda jumped from rank number six into fourth position. Opel on rank number six (behind Ford) had a very strong November with + 18.6% and its highest November volume since 2007. The very positive result for the brand from Rüsselsheim –  for this month there was no other brand with a higher growth by absolute figures – was mainly driven by the models Astra, Grandland X, Adam and Insignia.


Audi dropped back to seventh position followed by SEAT, Renault and Volvo. The Swedish Manufacturer achieved a remarkable + 46.2% which led to a market share of 2.83% which is just marginally behind Volvo’s all-time record share of 2,84% back in January 2005! The biggest support came from two SUV models; the XC60 (delivering a truly impressive + 65.1%) and the all-new XC40.


Segment performance

The general trend continues: while SUV keeps on growing, all six Passenger Car subsegments are down, especially the PC Medium segment. Currently in decline having lost 21.5% over November 2017 leaving its share at the lowest ever for this group of cars of 15.5%. Medium-sized SUVs however increased their slice of the market and November brought us a new segment leader: the Škoda Kodiaq was number one for the first time and scored both its best monthly volume (a 4-digit number for the very first time) and market share, outperforming very established competitors like Mercedes GLC, BMW X3 or Audi Q5.


Fuel type performance

Diesel is still alive! Despite the unfavourable press its registrations were once again increasing as 61.3% of all new company cars registered in November were equipped with a Diesel powertrain. That’s the highest percentage seen in more than a year (September 2017 to be precise). And it seems the larger the fleet is, the higher its appetite for Diesel goes. While the share is slightly under 50 percent in companies with up to nine passenger cars in their car parc, it is 59.4% in the fleet size 10 to 49 and even 68.7% in larger fleets with at least 50 cars (all figures 2018 YTD November). Eight out of the top 10 models in November had a Diesel share above 70%; only the Volkswagen models Golf (due to a significant amount of Electric E-Golf) and Polo were below this level. Deal’s being done or the realisation that Diesel is not in fact as bad as some would have you believe?

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