True Fleet in the UK has again been in a skirmish with declining registration numbers and while this was still a negative month it is worth noting this was lowest volume loss in a month-on-month comparison since February 2017. The Total Market finished with a little under 81,000 registrations or – 2.8%. Both True Fleet and the Private Market were in in the red with – 7.5% and – 2.1% respectively while Special Channels registered a + 4.6% thanks solely to the Dealer/Manufacturer channel. While our forecast analysts predict that April 2018 may see a plus month for True Fleet there is still a little way to go before equilibrium is achieved.
Last month saw four OEMs achieve positives, this month we see five. Ford re-took the top spot after a 2 month hiatus thanks largely to the Focus, Kuga and surprisingly the Galaxy which achieved a + 238.6% in comparison to February 2017. The blue oval brand was followed by VW, Vauxhall (Opel) and Audi, with the Ingolstadt manufacturer hitting a + 20.0% exactly with the help of a 4 and two 5s, of the Q&A variety.
Mercedes, BMW, Kia and SEAT were the next four brands in order with SEAT bringing some Catalonia sunshine to a very cold UK fleet market. This manufacturer achieved the highest growth rate inside the top 10 with a + 57.5%, thanks a little to the new Arona and thanks a lot to the Leon which pulled a 3-digit growth rate.
Nissan and Peugeot rounded out the top 10 manufacturers though a noteworthy mention should go to Mitsubishi in 17th position. The three-diamond brand jumped up 5 places as the newly released Eclipse Cross starts to find a firm footing in the UK True Fleet market place.
True Fleet Vehicle Segments
Our final insight for this press release took us into the vehicle segment data. Yes SUV is still #1 and hardest hit during the SUV surge has certainly been the Middle Class segment, but with the now ever increasing new smaller SUV and crossover models entering the market, the Compact Car segment is taking its own share of hits.
Down YTD (year-to-date) by 5.1% in True Fleet, 24.9% in the Private Market and 1.7% in Special Channels, the Compact segment is certainly feeling somewhat under siege. Add this Compact Car decline to the looming WLTP deadlines and CO2 targets for OEM’s and there is likely to be some serious pressure to get electric infrastructure right from a governmental prospective. Meanwhile the manufacturers themselves need to accelerate their growth in EV/Hybrid model line-ups within the SUV segment if these targets are to be met.