Ok, the UK did not hit the third positive month in a row but it was sooooooo close! True Fleets finished just 0.03% in the red with just 29 registrations keeping them from that 3rd month in the black. Good news is that the UK seems to be levelling out, the Private Market was also close with a – 0.6% and Special Channels with a – 12.5% completed the negative trifecta with the Short-Term Rental sub-channel bringing 87.3% of that negative volume. This left the Total Market just shy of 235,000 registrations for June. Now whether the arrested decline in the True Fleet Market can hold off the German challenge for the #1 fleet market in Europe is still an open question but what is clear is that they certainly will not be challenging England as part of the UK in a semi-final.
Only two OEMs kept their places in the fleet ranking, VW was 1st once again and secured a positive month for the brand with one extra registration over June 2017. BMW in 2nd and Opel in 3rd both had exceptional months with almost exactly the same growth percentages, BMW + 46.15% and Opel + 46.13% but the Bavarian manufacturer racked up an extra accolade having their best quarter since Dataforce recordings began in 2004. Ford in 4th and Mercedes in 5th, unfortunately, were on the wrong side of the needle but both brands had good individual performances from models, Ecosport for the former and GLC for the latter. Audi (6th) picked up a place over last June ranking and they were followed by Nissan and Toyota which was the other non-mover inside the top 10. Kia in 9th and Peugeot in 10th finished out the rankings with the Korean brand up by 12.7% and 2 places thanks largely to the Niro and Stonic.
Higher Middle-Class Cars: Monthly spike, new growth trend or just a recovery?
This vehicle segment has had an excellent month, up by 50.6% compared to June 2017 and 14.0% YTD (year-to-date). But is this just a recovery from a bad 2017? Well, given the models and the engines sizes that come with them, the segment would certainly have been affected by the VED changes and increases to taxation based on the CO2 levels. 2017’s H1 (Q1 & Q2) was the lowest for the vehicle segment since 2010 and while 2018 H1 is still a little way off the high of 2015 it certainly looks to be continuing to improve. So, given the taxation and the surge in SUVs which have also taken some market share, what is helping the segment? One word “Hybridisation” with the BMW 5 Series and to a lesser extent the Mercedes E-Class really helping to “Plug-In” the extra numbers and boost the segment to its current level.
Will it reach these highs of 2015 again? Possibly not but we should certainly see an improvement over 2017’s low for the next couple of years.