Usually the month of August is comparatively weak, but not this time, as we saw more than 300,000 new passenger car registrations in the Total Market for the first time ever for the month of August. Due to the introduction of WLTP on September 1st, August 2018 was the last chance to register new cars which had only been tested on the old NEDC standard. Given these circumstances there were only two feasible options for manufacturers and importers: either to register the car until the end of August or to store them temporarily until the testing procedures have been fully completed.
As we can see the “register now” option was obviously the chosen one for most of the market players, especially in those channels where OEMs have the biggest influence. Self-registrations on the manufacturers increased by + 13.9% and the rent-a-car numbers grew by + 27.7% compared to August 2017. But these growth rates were nothing compared to the new car registrations on dealerships which jumped by no less than 80.8%! This increase pushed the volume to more than 83,000 passenger cars, an impressive figure which has only been higher once in the German market. This leaves the Private Market which registered a rather moderate + 4.3%, while True Fleets were up by + 18.2% achieving its strongest monthly growth rate in 2018 so far.
Despite this strong result we saw four brands with a drop inside of the top 10. Both Volkswagen and Audi both scored a five-digit registration number and above-average growth rates while Mercedes and BMW ranking 3rd and 4th had a challenging August. Thanks to a remarkable + 178.9% Renault jumped into fifth position overtaking Ford and Škoda who both were in the red, though for the former this was a dip of just 3 registrations.
SEAT (+ 127.6%) was not far behind Škoda and had a fantastic month with increasing volumes across its whole product portfolio, achieved a new record market share of 5.4% and overtook Opel (9th) for the first time ever in the German True Fleet Market! Toyota completed the top 10 while Hyundai (11th, + 93.6%) narrowly missed entering this group despite a jump of six places and its best market share in almost two years which was mainly fuelled by the models i10 and Tucson.
There were two further brands which achieved their best market share in the True Fleet Market place even though their target groups are slightly different to say the least. Dacia was the first of them increasing their fleet registrations by 60.5%. The main pillars were the Duster (putting itself into the top 10 Compact SUV in August) and the Dokker which even ranked third on the Small Utilities ladder behind Volkswagen Caddy and Renault Kangoo.
The second brand deservedly garnering a mention even managed a growth rate of more than a thousand per cent. Admittedly: extremely high growth rates are sometimes a bit misleading and you should also look at the absolute figures. The 70 new registrations in August are maybe not too impressive but nevertheless higher than the volumes of brands such as Subaru, Lexus, DS or Maserati. In case you’re responsible for your fleet and interested in purchasing one of these I certainly would recommend a slightly larger wallet as the brand we are speaking of is Ferrari! Top-seller of the brand from Maranello is their “entry model” 488 but we also saw two “LaFerrari” showing up (that’s the reason why the Hybrid share within Ferrari adds up to 2.9%). Maybe these fleet cars are used as the fastest way to import or export gold bars, but that’s just a guess.
Speaking of Alternative fuel types: the share of both Hybrid and Full Electric remained unchanged compared to August 2017, while the share for Petrol cars climbed to 40.7% which is the highest since December 2001, a time when the Golf IV was leading the fleet market! In contrast the Diesel share was below 55.0% for the very first time (54.95% to be precise). And the decline continues…